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Defectors: How the Illicit Flight of Soviet Citizens Built the Borders of the Cold War World
Erik R. Scott
David De Vries
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11 hours 59 minutes
Defectors fleeing the Soviet Union seized the world's attention during the Cold War. Their stories were given sensational news coverage and dramatized in spy novels and films. Upon reaching the West, they were entitled to special benefits, including financial assistance and permanent residency. In contrast to other migrants, defectors were pursued by the states they left even as they were eagerly sought by the United States and its allies. Taking part in a risky game that played out across the globe, defectors sought to transcend the limitations of the Cold War world.
Defectors follows their treacherous journeys and looks at how their unauthorized flight via land, sea, and air gave shape to a globalized world. It charts a global struggle over defectors that unfolded among rival intelligence agencies operating in the shadows of an occupied Europe, in the forbidden border zones of the USSR, in the disputed straits of the South China Sea, on a hijacked plane 10,000 feet in the air, and around the walls of Soviet embassies.
Although defection all but disappeared after the Cold War, this innovative work shows how it shaped the governance of global borders and helped forge an international refugee system whose legacy and limitations remain with us to this day.
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Defectors: How the Illicit Flight...
Erik R. Scott
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