Marco Polo, If You Can by William F. Buckley, Jr.

Marco Polo, If You Can by William F. Buckley, Jr.

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On trial in Russia, Blackford Oakes fights to carry out a mission that will change the course of the Cold War

The prisoner in the dock is accused of unspeakable crimes against the Soviet Union—charges Blackford Oakes is proud to be guilty of. The agent has spent 9 years fighting the spread of Communism in Europe, and he intends to continue the battle. It shouldn’t be hard for the Russians to convict him of espionage—after all, Oakes was found on Soviet soil in a downed U-2 spy plane—and it will take a masterstroke for the agent to escape execution. The funny thing is, the Russians are playing right into his hands.

After 3 years on leave from the CIA, Oakes was brought back to take part in 1 of the most daring operations in intelligence history. His mission is to crash the plane, get captured, and endure the trial. So far, everything’s going according to plan. Now he just has to get out of the Soviet Union alive.

Marco Polo, If You Can is the 4th book in the Blackford Oakes Mysteries, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.


“Each novel crackles with ideas. . . . Mr. Buckley asks ‘What if,’ . . . which is very easy, and manages meanwhile to keep us absorbed, which is very hard.” —The New York Times

“No other author could have written the novels in exactly the same manner, with the same subtleties and acuteness of observation and authority and wit. And, by all means, the style. It’s all pure Buckley and very stylish indeed.” —The San Diego Union-Tribune

“Tense, chilling, unflaggingly lively . . . A romp and something more.” —The Wall Street Journal on Tucker’s Last Stand

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