Jonathan Haslam

A Foolish Gesture to Boys in Short Trousers

‘One Hell of a Gamble’: Khrushchev, Castro, Kennedy, and the Cuban Missile Crisis, 1958–1964

By

John Murray 420pp £25 order from our bookshop

In October 1962, the Cuban missile crisis brought the world the closest it has ever come to all-out thermo nuclear war. ‘I don’t think we expected that he would put the missiles in Cuba,’ President John F Kennedy said, ‘because it would have seemed such an imprudent action for him to take.’ A veritable flood of information about the crisis has cascaded onto us in recent years, from the Russians, the Americans, even the Cubans. And everything points to the conclusion that our anxieties at the time were neither misplaced nor exaggerated. This book is no exception. But it in no way clarifies Nikita Khrushchev’s motives for putting the missiles in Cuba.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • RT : Founded in 1979, is a trusted independent source for reviews of new books across a variety of genres. A… ,
    • RT : Here we are - "Shelf Indulgence" by Ed Potten, a wonderful read, well worth your time: @Lit_Review,
    • 'Like going to a party hoping to get away as quickly as politeness allowed and at 4am finding myself still engrosse… ,
    • 'Neville never shed his sense of being the junior, and perhaps least-deserving Chamberlain.' From the archive, Mic… ,
    • 'The erecting and immediate destruction of a series of straw men rather detracts from what is for the most part an… ,
    • RT : A magnificent demolition job on this "acid laced tirade...unpleasantly self-obsessed...self pitying polemic...book… ,
    • 'Seventy years on, the time we have left to gather such first-hand testimony is running out.' John Keay on the sig… ,