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The Kennedy Tapes: Inside the White House During the Cuban Missile Crisis
The United States and the Soviet Union stood eyeball to eyeball, each brandishing enough nuclear weapons to obliterate each other's civilization. It was one of the most dangerous moments in world history. Day by day, for two weeks, an executive committee formed around elements of President Kennedy's National Security Council debated what to do, twice coming to the brink of ...more
Paperback, 468 pages
Published January 28th 2002 by Belknap Press
(first published January 1st 1997)
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If you thought America acted alone and independently of every other nation during the Cuban Missile Crisis, you might be surprised by what's in this book. I had no idea how complex, or intricate, or political, the decisions were that led up to, and through, this event. I'd always heard my parents commenting on how 'close' we came to was with Russia - a nuclear war - but until I read this, I never really understood that they weren't being dramatic. It really almost did happen. It frightens me to ...more
The reader becomes a fly on the wall for all the recorded discussions between President Kennedy, Secretaries of State and Defense Dean Rusk and John McNamara, Robert Kennedy, and the rest of the president's security staff regarding the discovery of the offensive missile buildup in Cuba, the subsequent crisis, and the eventual resolution. All conversations are verbatim, transcribed off the tape, and the president even drops the 'f-bomb' once. That aside, this is pretty riveting stuff, and is an i ...more
Completely compelling, and terrifying how close we were to WW3. I loved reading the actual advice given... Military men all around itching to play with their toys, Kennedy in the middle. A bit like the Day of The Jackal, in that you know what the end result was but it is still a great great read - recommended
Ernest Richard May was an American historian of international relations whose 14 published books include analyses of American involvement in World War I and the causes of the fall of France during World War II. His 1997 book The Kennedy Tapes: Inside the White House During the Cuban Missile Crisis became the primary sources of the 2000 film Thirteen Days that viewed the crisis from the perspective ...moreMore about Ernest R. May...