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The Soviet Cuban Missile Crisis: Castro, Mikoyan, Kennedy, Khrushchev, and the Missiles of November (Cold War International History Project) Hardcover – November 28, 2012
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Time frame is late October to late November 1962. So far as the world believes, the "Cuban Missile Crisis" is over. But for the Soviets, reality is that they have one heck of a mess on their hands. Numerous tactical nuclear weapons--not known to the U.S. nor included in the Soviet pledge to extricate--remain in Cuba, and the Kremlin wants to keep them on the island. But Castro increasingly disturbs and worries the Soviets in his anger that the Kremlin did not apprise him of talks and results. First opposing nuclear deployment in Cuba, Castro (and Che Guevara, most notably) are defiant, untrusting and passionate about the prospect of Cuba being the only nuclear power in South America. Besides, what reason would Castro have to believe America's non-invasion pledge? Soviet concern about Castro's intentions quickly becomes deadly alarm. The USSR decides it wants to remove the secret nukes, but Castro is volatile.
Anastas Mikoyan later joked that being sent to resolve this extremely dangerous mess was pay-back for his having opposed initially deployment in Cuba.Read more ›
The objectivity of Sergo Mikoyan is highly questionable, for the obvious reason that he is writing about his own father and is hardly going to present his father in an unfavorable light. Secondly, Sergo was in his early 20s in 1960-62, and was permitted to accompany his father on trips to Cuba. However, Sergo did not attend any Politburo sessions at which important decisions were made, nor apparently was he present during critical meetings between his father and Fidel Castro. The book therefore relies to a large extent on what Sergo remembers that his father said about important events long after the fact. Much of the book is thus no more than hearsay -- what Sergo claims his father said. This is not totally without value, but can hardly be considered authoritative. The blurb on the back jacket that the book primarily uses Russian-language sources is not true -- very few of the very small number of footnotes refer to Russian-language sources.
Sergo Mikoyan was clearly a child of his time and place -- born in 1929, he was the son of an old Bolshevik, and he enjoyed great privilege in Khrushchev's USSR. Sergo was over 60 when the USSR collapsed, and it is abundantly clear that he retained the mental attitudes formed before 1991. This is a "pro-Soviet" history -- the Soviets are the good guys and the Americans are the bad guys. There is really nothing in this book that is inconsistent with what Khrushchev wrote in his memoirs dictated in the late 1960s.Read more ›