The Kennedy Tapes: Inside the White House During the Cuban Missile Crisis
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The Kennedy Tapes: Inside the White House During the Cuban Missile Crisis

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4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  81 ratings  ·  11 reviews
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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Peregrine 12
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
Stacey
If you've ever wanted to be a fly on the wall of the White House during the Cuban missile crisis, this is your book. At times fascinating; at other times, dry and tedious; this is an unprecedented view of the crisis and the Kennedy administration.
Mel [profile closed]
Those who are enamored with Kennedy will read the tapes and see his strength, and those who think he was weak and only idolized because of his death will find fodder here. The tapes are striking whichever camp you're in.
Rob Cohen
A fascinating read-- a little bit overkill; it got a little unwieldy trying to keep everyone straight- all in all an intersting insight into how the government works.
Gwen
I recall this was equally fascinating and the driest, most boring thing I have ever read in my life. That's quite an impressive achievement, and one I felt worth noting.
Robert Morrow
One of my favorite topics and one of my favorite books. Reading the actual dialogue is so deeply helpful in understanding the dynamics of the event.
MJ
The Missile Crisis direct from those who led us through it...really interesting to see how Kennedy's and his staff's minds worked.
Patrick Nichol
You are in the Oval Office as Kennedy and his advisers struggle to avoid nuclear combat "toe to toe with the Russkies."
Chris
Wow... Just wow. No question that JFK is one of our top three presidents after reading this.
Thomas Kelleher
This is gripping reading and what eventually became the film "Thirteen Days."
Marvin
So entertaining. I was on the edge of my seat. Almost felt like fiction. Great.
Laura
Mar 10, 2009 Laura added it
Shelves: kennedys
very good
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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...more
More about Ernest R. May...
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