The full story of the development and early use of the U-2 has never been properly told a until now. This book describes in vivid detail how the high-flying spyplane was conceived, designed, built, and deployed in record time. It explains why the CIA, and not the U.S. Air Force, controlled the project. It traces how the Iron Curtain was pried apart by the epic overflights of "denied territory" from 1956 to 1960. It discusses why these flights were needed, what they were looking for, and how the intelligence they returned was processed and analyzed. Readers are taken inside the Soviet Union's military machine, as it developed new strategic weapons and (eventually) the means to shoot the U-2 down. The book also explores the political dimension, telling how President Eisenhower and Premier Khrushchev each faced the challenge of the U-2 flights a albeit from very different perspectives. Toward the Unknown will appeal to students of aviation and intelligence history, and to anyone wishing to learn more about a key episode in the Cold War.