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 Aleksandr Fursenko and Timothy Naftali

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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.

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University of Chicago Press

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