WASHINGTON — Berkley Books, an imprint of Penguin Group, today released the trade paperback of Atlantic Council President Frederick Kempe’s national bestselling book, Berlin 1961: Kennedy, Khrushchev and the Most Dangerous Place on Earth.

Chronicling the epic drama of the Cold War’s most dramatic year in its most decisive place, Berlin 1961’s hardback edition was a #1 Washington Post bestseller and was also listed by the New York Times, among others. The book’s German-language edition was for weeks the top selling Amazon title on Berlin and divided Germany, and was selected for publication by the Bundeszentrale für Politische Bildung, a federal agency that promotes political understanding and democratic consciousness. 

“Fred Kempe has masterfully captured the dramatic dimensions of a great story that shaped our world order for twenty-eight years. Berlin is an important achievement that offers important lessons to national security decisionmakers today,” said Senator Chuck Hagel, Atlantic Council chairman. 

To date Berlin 1961 has either been or will be published in eight languages, including Chinese, Russian, Spanish, Hebrew, Portuguese, Polish, and Romanian. The United Kingdom edition will be released by Penguin Books later this year. The book also appears as an innovative, amplified e-book, in cooperation between G.P. Putnam’s Sons and NBC News, including original video clips from the period and an introduction by Tom Brokaw. 

The Wall Street Journal called it “meticulously researched, elegantly written… a mind-shaking work of investigative history.” The New York Times said of Kempe’s book, “His reconstruction of the diplomacy and events leading up to August 1961 is spellbinding.” The historian Frederick Taylor, reviewing the book for the Financial Times, said, “The genius at the heart of this gripping work resembles that of a play by Schiller or Shakespeare.” 

The Economist listed Berlin 1961 as one of its top books of 2011, while the Foreign Policy Association named the book as its history book of the year and one of its top five overall. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette named the book one of its top ten non-fiction titles of the year. The international arm of the Royal United Services Institute in Britain named Berlin 1961 as its book of the year. 

Kempe has been president and CEO of the Atlantic Council since January 2007. He previously spent more than twenty-five years as a prize-winning reporter, columnist, and editor for the Wall Street Journal, where, among other roles, he served as chief diplomatic correspondent, Berlin bureau chief, and editor and associate publisher of the Wall Street Journal Europe. His previous three books have been translated in several languages: Divorcing the Dictator: America’s Bungled Affair with Noriega; Siberian Odyssey: A Voyage into the Russian Soul; and Father/Land: A Personal Search for the New Germany. He has been a frequent commentator on US, British, and German radio and television. 

For more information on the book and its author, or to order, visit www.berlin1961.com. To interview the author on the book or 2012 US foreign policy challenges, contact Taleen Ananian at 202.778.4993 or tananian@acus.org


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