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One Minute to Midnight: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and Castro on the Brink of Nuclear War Paperback – June 2, 2009
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Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Based upon a vast quantity of primary sources material -- much of it previously classified -- including interviews with Soviet and Cuban personnel and even previously unstudied aerial photographs of the Soviet missile sites in Cuba -- Dobbs has constructed a rivetting day-by-day (and in places almost minute-by-minute) account of a world on the brink of nuclear war. Along the way, the author dispells some old myths (such as those surrounding the "eyeball-to-eyeball" confrontation of Soviet-controlled ships with the US Navy blockading forces) and reveals some startling new truths (unknown to American Intelligence at the time, the Soviets had deployed nuclear-armed cruise missiles against the American base at Guantanamo Bay).
Dobbs avoids overly mythologizing JFK's performance during the crisis (there was a good deal more uncertainty and policy shifting than was evident in White House accounts after the events), but neither does he seek to be a muck-raker denigrating JFK's leadership. In the end, the author praised both Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev for keeping their eyes on the goal, despite much hot-headed advice from many around them, of avoiding catastrophic war.
What emerges perhaps more than anything is a sense of the chaos and confusion that prevailed and so often threatened to heat the water pot beyond boiling, not because of anyone's conscious intent, but because ignorance of the full circumstances seemed to require it.Read more ›
Being a veteran who served with the Navy photo reconnaissance squadron VFP-62 during that period, I had particular interest in reading the new material uncovered by Mr. Dobb's investigative reporting. VFP-62 photo Crusaders flew the low-level photo missions over Cuba, gathering the intelligence needed to help President Kennedy forge a plan of action that avoided nuclear catastrophe. The discovery of nuclear capable cruise missiles, by VFP-62 photos, revealed new information on how they were to be used against Guantanamo Naval Base and invading U.S. forces. The use of tactical nuclear weapons was not considered by the Pentagon in the initial planning of the intended invasion of Cuba.
The book is spell binding with the fast moving anticipation of a Tom Clancy novel, although in this case, events are real. Mr. Dobbs gets into the minds of the decision makers and probes the many ways the crisis could have ended in a total nuclear annihilation for Cuba, the Soviet Union, and the United States.Read more ›
Americans; Russians; Cubans; "Eyeball to Eyeball"; "Till Hell Freezes Over"; Intel; Nukes; Strike First; Hunt for the Grozny; Shootdown, "Some Sonofabitch"; "Run Like Hell"; Cat and Mouse; "Crate and Return"; Afterword; Acknowledgments and a Note on Sources; Notes; Index
Conventional wisdom paints the Cuban Missile Crisis as a time where Kennedy stood firm over the placement of Soviet nuclear missiles on Cuban soil. He went "eye to eye" with Khrushchev, and Khrushchev blinked. But Dobbs has exhaustively researched the event and paints a far different picture. Khrushchev introduced both medium-range and tactical nukes into Cuba in order to show Russian superiority and to protect a fellow communist country from a potential US invasion. This made Castro look invincible to himself and his people, and he welcomed the power they represented. When US intel discovered the missiles, the international tension started to rise as Kennedy declared this unacceptable and demanded the removal of the weapons. They also implemented a naval blockade of Cuba to prevent any more aid from showing up on the island. With each passing day (and often each passing hour), the risk that one side or the other would launch an attack continued to grow.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Holy Mackeral!!!! It scared the beejeebies out of me..... They were going to wipe Guantanmo off the map. Read morePublished 3 months ago by R.Cabell
It's the first book I have read about Cuban Missle Crisis. I think it impressively offers a complete story from both sides, from the top decision makers to the bottom soldiers and... Read morePublished 7 months ago by frankshuzhi
I found the book to be pretty comprehensive, but was put off by the author's obvious negative bias against Curtis Lemay, never wasting an opportunity to qualify Lemay's factual... Read morePublished 7 months ago by John F. Chick Jr.
Well researched and written book about an alarming moment in world history and the Cold War. Recommended for any history buff.Published 9 months ago by Dave Taylor
It arrived on time, and is in very good shape. I am taking a Lifelong Learning class about tis period, and this is one of the suggested readings. Read morePublished 9 months ago by James L. Rairdon
I lived through this and have read many books and watched docu-dramas but was not really aware of just how close we were to global annilation. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Donald R. Skinner