"One Hell of a Gamble": Khrushchev, Castro, and Kennedy, 1958-1964

by Aleksandr Fursenko

Hardcover, 1997

Call number

973.922 FUR



W W Norton & Co Inc (1997), Edition: 1st, 420 pages


Draws from records made available since the collapse of the Soviet Union to reexamine the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, revealing just how close the United States came to engaging in nuclear war.

User reviews

LibraryThing member wildbill
As one who lived through the Cuban missile crisis this book had a more than academic interest. I was living in south Florida at the time and still remember the conversations about what was going to happen and when.
The book is significant since it was written by a Russian and an American and utilized sources that have just become available. It clearly shows just how close to all out war the situation was. It provides a great example of the errors made by each side in their understanding of their adversary. President Kennedy gets high marks for holding the leash on his generals and avoiding war. Castro is portrayed as a reckless leader whose decisions were a significant ingredient to the situation and was very willing pull the trigger on nuclear war.
The greatest lesson of the whole situation is how the concept of the Cold War distorted the reality of the political situation and almost led to an incredibly destructive war. The only caveat I have to recommending the book is that it is very dry and written mostly for academics who read for work and not based upon interest.
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LibraryThing member nandadevi
Remarkable much more for the story of Raul Castro than Fidel. That Raul, the friend (and agent) of the Soviet Union and the main architect of Soviet involvement in the Cuban misile crisis (far more than the comparatively moderate Fidel) should now be the one to oversee the re-establishment of relations with the US is one of the ironies of history. In some ways it's just as well that most politicians (seem) never to have picked up a book in their lives. Recommended if you have an interest in the history that goes beyond the veneer of headlines.… (more)




0393040704 / 9780393040708


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