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Jim Holbrook is a legend in the Foreign Area Officer community.   This memoir now provides some insights into how he developed into one of the top specialists the U.S. Army had on the Russian language and the Soviet Union.  His first-ever treatment of the classified operations of the Potsdam Military Liaison Mission is a story long overdue.    

Lester W. Grau, Author of
The Soviet-Afghan War: How a Superpower Fought and Lost, The Bear Went Over  the Mountain, co-author of The Other Side of the Mountain
Potsdam Mission offers students of the Cold War era unique and exciting insights into the sensitive operations of the US Military Liaison Mission in East Germany.  Using recently declassified information, Holbrook reveals many of the challenges he and other Mission members faced in their efforts to collect intelligence on the Soviet and East German military.  This memoir is a story told by the U.S. Army's premier Russian linguist and analyst.  

Colonel (Ret.) Bernard E. McDaniel, U.S. Defense Attache, Bonn (1990 - 1994), Army Directory of Foreign Intelligence (1994 - 1995)
In this fascinating memoir Lieutenant Colonel Holbrook gives a riveting account of the deadly game of cat-and-mouse he and his colleagues engaged in while members of a unique U.S. military intelligence unit stationed in East Germany during the Cold War.  Holbrook, a top Army linguist, relates his tense missions and his occasional arrests by Soviet authorities in clean, simple, compelling language and with charm, modesty, and wrenching honesty.  

Roger Parloff, Author of Triple Jeopardy
Readers' Written Comments
I was in the Mission from 70-73 and therefore had a personal interest.  The book is accurate and interesting.
An excellent and riveting first-hand report by a former U.S. Army officer about a little-known but extremely important role played by the U.S. Military Liaison Mission in Potsdam.  Holbrook was a legendary Russian linguist and was considered to have native fluency.  However, it would be even more interesting if Holbrook completed this abbreviated memoir with his exploits a few years later at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, where it is understood that the KGB attempted to compromise him and to turn him into a cloak-and-dagger story that rivals any James Bond exploit.
It is great, enjoyed it so much that I felt I was reliving "our adventures."
For now, I have to say pozdravlyayu! VERY well done!  Engaging, well-written, and meaningful. Can't ask for anything more in a memoir.
It's a wonderful book.  I enjoyed reading about things that were similar in the 60s and those initiatives which were changed in the 70s.
Got the book yesterday afternoon, read it last night, reread it this a.m.  Bless you!  It is an excellent job.  All missionaries are indebted to you.
Thank you for taking the time and effort to articulately capture and preserve an important event in U.S. military history.  You provide a number of observations and insights that have relevance for the Intelligence Community even today.  Those of us who served at USMLM owe you a debt of thanks.
Wow, it's super.  Congratulations!
It was great reading and super interesting.  Several items of interest reminded me of my Army career which started in 1959 and ended in 1979.
I have just received a copy of LTC (USA, Retired) Jim Holbrook's excellent book entitled "Potsdam Mission."  I believe it is a must read for each of us who "was there and did that..."
It's a wonderful book.  I enjoy reading about things that were similar in the 60s and those initiatives which were changed in the 70s.  Congratulations.  Potsdam Mission is a great work and you can be sure that I will promote it widely.
I meant to write to you long before this to thank you for the book and to tell you how much I am enjoying it.  It is so straight-forward and informative, very interesting to learn more about your experiences.  The way you learned Russian is amazing.  Congratulations on a wonderful accomplishment.  You have become an inspiration to me.
Just read your book (which arrived from Amazon two days ago).  Enjoyed it immensely.  I was at the Bicentennial 4th of July Picnic at Potsdam House.  I was a member of the Brixmis Volleyball team.  It was nice to recall some of the members of SERB you write about in you book, especially Lt Yegorov who would always try to talk to me when I visited SERB for the routine delivery and pick up of letters, newspapers, etc.
It is a passionately delivered piece; appropriately so for someone who 'was there.'  He emphasizes the build-up to and preparation before Mission life, which revolved around Russian language and intelligence work, and which for a great part was done not knowing that he was going to the Mission.  He balances the importance of the intelligence role against the liaison role.  It was his knowledge of Russian together with Russian culture and history that powered the intelligence effort to greater effect.  I received it on Friday and read it by Monday.  Good and thoughtful read.
Let me just tell you I could not put the book down!  I read over half of it just last night.  I don't know why, but it is so interesting, really!
It's a great read.
Got your book for Christmas, couldn't put it down (the wife is still complaining).
What a wonderful book, so beautifully produced, so excellently and interestingly written.  Not only those whose backgrounds and interests are military, but also the general reader cannot fail to want to turn and turn the pages until the last one is read.
Please send comments to the author at potsdammission@yahoo.com