In the early morning of February 10, 1962, James B. Donovan began his walk toward the center of the Glienicke Bridge, the famous “Bridge of Spies” which then linked West Berlin to East. With him, walked Rudolf Ivanovich Abel, master spy and for years the chief of Soviet espionage in the United States. Approaching them from the other side, under equally heavy guard, was Francis Gary Powers, the American U-2 spy plane pilot famously shot down by the Soviets, whose exchange for Abel Donovan had negotiated. These were the strangers on a bridge, men of East and West, representatives of two opposed worlds meeting in a moment of high drama.


Well written and informative, Strangers on a Bridge is a wonderful firsthand account of the most notable spy swap made during the height of the Cold War. Written by defense attorney James Donovan in 1963, the book gives an accurate overview of the behind-the-scenes negotiations that resulted in KGB colonel Rudolf Abel being exchange for my father, CIA U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers, in February 1962 on the Bridge of Spies.”

Francis Gary Powers, Jr., Founder and Chairman Emeritus of The Cold War Museum


This book is much more than the exciting journal of one of history’s great espionage cases, its preparation, trial and appeal and its dramatic denouement at the Glienicke Bridge. Anyone who thrills to spy narratives and brilliant investigative work and skillful courtroom tactics will be sure to enjoy it.”

Charles S. Desmond, former Chief Judge of the State of New York


As compelling as The Spy Who Came In From the Cold—except it happens to be true.”

Life magazine