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Kennedy's Wars: Berlin, Cuba, Laos, and Vietnam
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Kennedy's Wars: Berlin, Cuba, Laos, and Vietnam

3.6  ·  Rating details ·  60 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
In his thousand-day presidency, John F. Kennedy led America through one of its most difficult and potentially explosive eras. With the Cold War at its height and the threat of communist advances in Europe and the Third World, Kennedy had the unenviable task of maintaining U.S. solidarity without leading the western world into a nuclear catastrophe.
In Kennedy's Wars, noted
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Paperback, 560 pages
Published May 16th 2002 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 2000)
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John
Nov 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
After p. 100
Freedman's book is the product of many years' study and thought. He evokes that segment of the Cold War quite effectively.

Nonetheless, I will voice one objection. He does not explain, make no effort at all to explain why it was that all strategic/tactical thought and policy debate focused upon nuclear weapons and nuclear war? Why was the possibility/eventuality of obliterating the conditions that sustain life on this planet the very first thought that sprang to the minds of diplomats
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Horza
Jan 27, 2014 added it
Distils a lot of Cold War high politics ably: strategic doctrines, personalities, institutions are woven into the narrative without hogging the limelight. Blizzards of communiques, back-channels and draft statements are pared down into a coherent, comprehensive account. Freedman deflates much of the mythmaking that surrounds Kennedy and his cabinet, actually talks about Laos (in the process we learn why Cold War histories tend to omit Laos) and his concluding analysis of the Kennedy Vietnam coun ...more
Jc
Aug 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Kennedy's Wars: Berlin, Cuba, Laos, and Vietnam by Lawrence Freedman

JFK was assassinated six years before I was born. I have been fascinated by JFK since I don't know when. One of my interests in JFK was his foreign policy agenda. Kennedy came to power at the height of the Cold War when nuclear armageddon seemed imminent. Freedman tells a story of how JFK and his closest advisers kept the world intact for future generations.

Berlin had been a problem for many years for many presidents. Cuba had r
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Lizistanton
Good analysis of the machinations and thoughts that worried the politicians at the time. It does not explain why we ended up in Vietnam following the French debacle (and as we've done again in Afghanistan after the Russian debacle). Nor does it completely explain why this was a "dirty" war from the start.
Erik
Nov 14, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: politics
Squarely aimed at policy wonks, this is a very dry read. But for those who don't mind that kind of thing, its a fascinating insight into the decision-making at the highest level in conflict contexts.
Kasey Monckton
Feb 11, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
History is a story but it was not presented in any kind of storytelling form. Unfortunate since the subject is full of conflict and tensions between superpowers of the world.
Brook Finlayson
Aug 20, 2007 rated it really liked it
The scary back rooms of Camelot.
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Apr 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Kennedy's Wars by Lawrence Freedman is about the Cold War during Kennedy's presidency, and how he handled the Soviets movements to spread Communism. President John F. Kennedy was the main focus, but his father, Joseph Kennedy, is mentioned as he introduced John Kennedy into the world of politics. His brothers, Robert, Ted, and Joseph, were also mentioned for their rolls in Kennedy's life. Kennedy's presidency lasted just over 1,000 days of presidency, when he was fatally shot by Lee Harvey Oswa ...more
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Sir Lawrence David Freedman, KCMG, CBE, PC, FBA is Emeritus Professor of War Studies at King's College London.
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