Today we’re talking to Francesca Akhtar who holds a BA Hons in American Studies with 1st class honours from Canterbury Christ Christ Church University in Kent, and a Masters degree in US history & Politics from the Institute of the Americas, University College London.
Her main research interests are US Cold War foreign policy, intelligence history and defence. Francesca has written a dissertation entitled “The most dangerous Soviet-American confrontation since the Cuban Missile Crisis?” An analysis of the origins, nature and impact of the Able Archer 83 incident .
I am delighted to welcome Francesca Akhtar to Cold War Conversations.
Before we start I’d like to say how humbled I am by the level of interest in the podcast and the kind comments from our many subscribers. If you’d like to support us further and get some extras then head over to Patreon. There’s also links on the home page of the website at www.coldwarconversations.com.
Now most of you will know my good friend Shane Whaley over at the highly recommended Spybrary podcast who we interviewed in episode 4.
Shane and I have always been intrigued by a video posted on Youtube filmed in the 1980s by a then young US army soldier documenting his first days in Berlin for his family back at home.
Now I never dreamed that I would find, let alone talk to that soldier, but through the magic of the internet we got in contact and Michael Rafferty has agreed to give his first interview in 24 years to Cold War Conversations.
His story spans the last days of Checkpoint Charlie, from when the border was the heavily fortified barrier familiar to us from those spy films, to the opening of the wall and the unification of Germany.
I am delighted and honoured to welcome Michael Rafferty.
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