“Durning’s book adds to an increasing body of scholarship that highlights the roles and contributions of mid- and junior-grade personnel who implemented Washington’s policies during the Cold War. It gives insight on the day-to-day intelligence activities that transpired in small operating locations."
"Durning's World Turned Upside Down provides a riveting, firsthand account of the complex shadowy world of intelligence in early Cold War Germany. Drawing upon his experiences while assigned to the U.S. Naval Intelligence Office in Munich in 1955-56, Durning offers his reader a window into the world of intelligence, sharing the sort of insight into working relationships, daily routines, and personalities that only an insider can provide. His account reveals how the U.S. Navy supported intelligence activities that ranged beyond the narrow maritime issues and worked closely with Army intelligence, the Gehlen Organization, former German admirals, and the CIA in fostering German-American relationships that endured for decades. A fascinating, highly readable account that encompasses midnight meetings, drop-offs of intelligence materials, and tantalizing insights into how U.S. naval intelligence participated in the broader Cold War struggle over Germany."
"Linking U.S. naval intelligence to Germany and the Cold War may seem a stretch, but in Marvin Durning's hands the story becomes gripping and credible. Here we witness the titantic forty-year struggle between East and West at ground level through the eyes of a young American officer who lived amid the personalities and plots that helped engineer Germany's stunning transition from Nazi enemy to democratic ally. Durning was there and part of this fateful game."
"This evocative book by Marvin Durning recreates and personalizes the mid-1950s atmosphere of Cold War Munich. It is a multilayered account of the historic postwar conversion of West Germany from enemy to ally. For one who had no special 'need to know,' this young navy intelligence officer grew in wisdom about high policy and played an unexpected role in implementing it. This is also a story of collegiality in secret work among American intelligence officers and between them and their German co-workers. Against a background of beer halls and moonlit drives, there are nicely etched vignettes of the author's colleagues."