Back Channel is the first book of a remarkable memoir of a Special Assistant to President John F. Kennedy.
Known familiarly as Bertie Mac he reported directly to the President and his office was in the West Wing of the White House. Prior to achieving that position, he had been betrayed by his own government - the United States - and handed over to the Soviets.
He was tortured in the Lubyanka Prison in Moscow before being covertly rescued by two high ranking Soviet Generals (at great risk to themselves) who wanted to convey information directly to the White House to try to avert a nuclear confrontation they believed to be imminent. They believed that he would be a uniquely reliable conduit of information between the U.S. and the Soviet Union as he deeply mistrusted both governments and therefore had absolutely no motivation to "color" any information he might transmit.
Bertie Mac coined the term "Back Channel" and served as a direct communication link between the White House and the