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Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962: A National Security Archive Documents Reader Paperback – January 17, 1999

4.2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Peter Kornbluh, director of the Cuba Documentation Project at the National Security Archive in Washington, D.C., is the author of "The Pinochet File: A Declassified Dossier on Atrocity and Accountability", among other books.

Peter Kornbluh, director of the Cuba Documentation Project at the National Security Archive in Washington, D.C., is the author of "The Pinochet File: A Declassified Dossier on Atrocity and Accountability", among other books.
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Product Details

  • Series: National Security Archive Documents
  • Paperback: 429 pages
  • Publisher: New Press, The; Revised Edition edition (January 17, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565844742
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565844742
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 0.9 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,044,871 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By HMS Warspite TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 27, 2008
Format: Paperback
The National Security Archive's "The Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962" is not for everyone. The casual reader will find the declassified intelligence reports, minutes of meetings, and executive correspondence to be boring if not indecipherable. The more knowledgeable reader without specific background in the Cuban Missile Crisis may miss the importance of the many details revealed here. For the student of crisis management, for which the Cuban Missile Crisis is held to be a model example, this book is a goldmine of useful detail and context.

The standard history of the Cuban Missile Crisis, based on selective memoires by U.S. participants, is that Russia rather inexplicably placed ballistic missiles in Cuba in 1962. The resulting crisis was resolved when the United States faced down the Soviets in a dramatic confrontation that came close to nuclear war. A more nuanced version holds that President Kennedy traded US missiles in Turkey and a pledge not to invade Cuba in return for a Soviet withdrawal.

"The Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962" makes clear the crisis had long roots in US/Soviet rivalry and a much messier resolution. The documents indicate that US and Soviet decision-makers were operating with a dangerously incomplete understanding of each other. Soviet actions in Cuba become much clearer in a context of US actions in Europe and Cuba and the disparity in strategic forces. US counteractions are formulated in a tense atmosphere haunted by the supposed lessons of the Second World War and by the fear of igniting a third world war. The resolution of the crisis spun out long after the dramatic "thirteen days" in October 1962.
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I purchased this book to use a source while writing my senior thesis in college. It has a vast amount of information with great detail. It's easy to use and was a wonderful purchase.
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I found this book to be interesting and it helped me understand how the government operated at a time when it looked like all he'll was going to break loose. I worked for the federal government for many years and it's interesting to see some of these memos.
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