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Kennedy and the Berlin Wall
by W.R. Smyser
The Berlin Wall Crisis dominated the presidency of John F. Kennedy from his inauguration in 1961 until his historic trip to the city in June 1963. W.R. Smyser's Kennedy and the Berlin Wall offers new insights into the Berlin events that riveted global attention, especially as Soviet and American tanks faced each other at point-blank range over "Checkpoint Charlie." Drawing ...more
ebook, 256 pages
Published September 16th 2009 by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
(first published August 16th 2009)
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This is an excellent study of how JFK learned to deal with the crude bullying of Nikita Khrushchev. It contains superb portraits of other key Cold War leaders (de Gaulle, Adenauer, Brandt, Ulbricht, MacMillan) and takes advantage of access to Soviet archives that were closed for decades. The tale told here draws a compelling connection between the Berlin Wall and the Cuban Missile Crisis.
This book was a great study on Kennedy's presidency, particularly in relation to the development of the Berlin Wall and the politics and nature of the Cold War. The argument is a little biased and leaves out some significant points, but it's still a very good book.
Clear accounting of the politics and perceptions of the events surrounding the construction of the Berlin Wall as well as its aftermath. Interesting insights from one who was there in person, this book gives an intimate look at one of the world's biggest tragedies, and ultimate triumph.