The Spy Who Went Into the Cold: Tracing the Cold War Through Espionage Novels | Newberry

The Spy Who Went Into the Cold: Tracing the Cold War Through Espionage Novels

Led by Tom Irvine. Seven sessions. 5:45 - 7:45 pm.
Wednesday, October 23, 2019
Wednesdays, October 23 - December 11 (class will not meet November 20)

5:45 - 7:45 pm

Online registration has closed. Please call (312) 255-3700.

Cost and Registration Information

Early Registration Price (August 27 at 9 am** – September 13 at 4 pm): $250
Regular Registration Price (September 13 at 4 pm – first day of class): $275

** Registration opens online at 9 am. Phone registration will be accepted starting at 10 am.

Members, seniors, and students get a 10% discount.

Online registration has closed. Please call (312) 255-3700 to register.

Seminar Description

Spy novels date back to the early 20th century, but some of the best have been written about the Cold War. Perhaps this is due to the prevalence of espionage in the period: covert action was seen by the Soviet Union and the West as providing a less risky and more cost effective way to make gains in the Cold War. In this class, we will read five books set during the Cold War that deal with the methods of spying adopted by Soviet and Western governments.

Seven sessions. E - $250, L - $275

Tom Irvine is Chief Information Officer for the Chicago Community Trust. He has a deep interest in mystery and spy novels.

Materials List


  • Joseph Kanon, Leaving Berlin. Atria Books, 2014. ISBN: 978-1476704647
  • Graham Greene, Our Man in Havana. Penguin Classics, 1958. ISBN: 978-0142438008
  • Charles McCarry, The Miernik Dossier. Harry N. Abrams, 1973. ISBN: 978-1585679423
  • John LeCarre, Tinker Tailor Solider Spy. Penguin Books, 1974. ISBN: 978-0143119784
  • Milt Bearden, The Black Tulip. Random House, 1998. ISBN: 978-0375760839

First Reading:

  • For the first class pages 1 - 200 from Leaving Berlin.

This class is part of the Newberry’s Adult Education Seminars Program. Learn more about our registration procedures.