Original title: Kansalainen Kekkonen
Author: Gordon F. Sander
Genre: History & Politics
With the fate of his country and relations between superpowers in the balance, what is the President of Finland to do?
In the fall of 1961, Soviet and American tanks faced off at Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin in an explosive confrontation known as the Berlin Crisis, which many feared might lead to World War III. At the same time, 1500 kilometers to the northeast, in Finland, the USSR and the US were squaring off for another potentially explosive confrontation over the Kremlin’s desire to maintain its sphere of influence over that country. This has become known as the Note Crisis.
The Note Crisis, the events leading up to it, and the three figures who were at the center of it—Urho Kekkonen, the Machiavellian president of Finland, fighting for his political life; Nikita Khrushchev, the feisty Soviet premier and Kekkonen’s sponsor; and John F. Kennedy, the US president, who sent a top secret message of support to Kekkonen—comprise the climax of Gordon Sander’s groundbreaking book.
Sander’s biography is based on three years of research and includes exclusive interviews with Khrushchev’s late son Sergey, and the President of Finland, Sauli Niinistö.
THE NOTE CRISIS is intended for general audiences and scholarly ones. It would be of interest to anyone who:
–is interested in reading and learning about one of the great “forgotten” crises of the Cold War
–is interested in Russian/Soviet history and/or Nikita Khrushchev
–is interested in the Kennedy administration
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 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)
“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
THE NOTE CRISIS adds a vital piece to our understanding of modern world history. It also provides a gripping account of 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)
FINLAND: WSOY (orig.)
WORLD ENGLISH: Cornell University Press