World English rights to Gordon F. Sander’s book THE NOTE CRISIS: Kekkonen, Kennedy, Khrushchev and the Cold War sold to Cornell University Press!

We are very happy to announce that the prestigious publisher Cornell University Press in Ithaca has acquired World English Rights to Gordon F. Sander’s acclaimed and unique work THE NOTE CRISIS: Kekkonen, Kennedy, Khrushchev and the Cold War for publication in October/November 2024 in the US and UK. Originally published in Finland by WSOY in August 2021 as “Kansalainen Kekkonen”, the book has received excellent praise, and sold to Varrak in Estonia. Cornell has published two of his previous works, Serling and The Frank Family That Survived. There will be a new introduction and some revisions to the original Finnish edition as the English edition is targeted for the US (and UK) audiences. The acquiring editor is Sarah Grossman and the deal was concluded by Elina Ahlbäck at Elina Ahlback Literary Agency.

In this timely book, Gordon Sander brings into focus the significance of Finland in the Cold War through a lively study of its vital President, Urho Kekkonen. An engaging and important book for readers interested in the history and politics of the Cold War.” – Sarah Grossman, Acquisitions Editor, Cornell University Press

Cornell University Press, established in 1869 as the first American university press, shortly after the founding of Cornell, embodies and advances the university’s core values by disseminating fundamental and practical knowledge, while commanding its own distinct editorial profile. The press is also dedicated to transforming research into publications that reach and benefit the wider public.

Praise for THE NOTE CRISIS: 

“Over the last quarter-century, the world has learned much about what happened behind the scenes during the Cold War. One big story, though, remains largely untold, and this book finally tells it. Finland and its brilliant leader, Urho Kekkonen, managed not only to balance enemy power blocs but also to contribute decisively to peace in Europe. By telling this story, THE NOTE CRISIS: KEKKONEN, KENNEDY, KHRUSHCHEV AND THE COLD WAR adds a vital piece to our understanding of modern world history. It also provides a gripping account of the the greatest crisis in Finnish post-war history, the 1961 Note Crisis.”
– Stephen Kinzer, former Berlin bureau chief, New York Times; senior fellow, Watson Institute for International Affairs, Brown University (US)

THE NOTE CRISIS is remarkable and significant for several reasons. For one, it is the first, not to mention the most thorough examination of Finland’s recent history by an American – particularly its crucial and little understood role in the Cold War, when its status as a Soviet sphere of influence was a test of wills between the East and West… [—] Perhaps the high point of Sander’s spellbinding book is his account of the meeting between Finnish president Urho Kekkonen and US President John Kennedy, on the eve of the so-called 1961 Note Crisis, one of the great “forgotten” episodes of the Cold War, which includes a full never-before-published transcript of the pivotal two day conference. [—] THE NOTE CRISIS, which reads like a page-turner, is a great read and an important and worthwhile – as well as fun – work of non-fiction and creative biography unto itself.
– Michael Franck, documentarian and film maker, Finland

So much has happened since the end of the Cold War that even a serious student of today’s crises would surely learn much by casting an eye back at Finland’s ‘active neutrality’ role in the dangerous Berlin crisis in the early 1960’s. Gordon Sander’s THE NOTE CRISIS is gripping history, rich with insight, fascinating characters such as Kennedy, Khrushchev and Kekkonen, and valuable lessons in crisis understanding and management. Rarely does a small country play so large a role.
– Marvin Kalb, former Moscow bureau chief, CBS News; Murrow Professor Emeritus, Harvard University

Interested to read more? We have a full English manuscript available!

Request the English materials for THE NOTE CRISIS here!

Kansalainen Kekkonen
WSOY, 2021, 507 pp.

Rights sold:
WORLD ENGLISH: Cornell University Press

Reading materials:
English manuscript

About author

Gordon F. Sander

Gordon F. Sander is a journalist and historian who has been visiting and writing about Finland and the Nordic region since 1977.  His articles and essays have appeared in The Washington Post, New York Review of Books, and many other general interest and scholarly publications. One of the best known and respected authorities on Nordic affairs and history in the English-speaking world, he is the author of eight books, including three about Finland: The Hundred Day Winter War, his best-selling history of the 1939-40 Fenno-Soviet Winter War, Off the Map: A Personal History of Finland, and most recently, The Note Crisis: Kekkonen, Kennedy, Khrushchev and the Cold War, his historical biography of Urho Kekkonen, the long-time president of Finland and his role in the pivotal 1961 Note Crisis, the culmination of six years of research in both Finland and the United States.

In 2017 Sander was knighted by President Sauli Niinistö for his services to Finland and international journalism, the first American writer to be so honored since World War II. He is also a Pulitzer Prize nominee. In addition to Finnish, Sander's works have also been translated into Dutch, Estonian and Portuguese.


2021, History & Politics

The Note Crisis: Kekkonen, Kennedy, Khrushchev and the Cold War

Gordon F. Sander