Cover image for Anatomy of the Cuban Missile Crisis
Anatomy of the Cuban Missile Crisis
Nathan, James A.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, [2001]

Physical Description:
xxix, 215 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E841 .N37 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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The Cuban Missile Crisis is the closest the United States came to nuclear war during the Cold War era. Facing down the buildup of Soviet missiles in Cuba in 1962, President John F. Kennedy took a calculated risk and succeeded in negotiating the removal of those weapons after weeks of teetering on the brink of war. This riveting narrative and ready-reference guide captures the drama of that crisis. Eleven chapters trace the unfolding of events from the United States, Cuban, and Soviet perspectives.

Ready reference features include: a blow-by-blow chronology of daily events during the Crisis, lengthy biographical profiles of the nine key players, including Cuba's Fidel Castro, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, and key Kennedy Cabinet members who were part of Kennedy's Crisis team; the text of 19 primary documents, including conversations in the Oval Office and memoranda that put the reader inside the crisis room, and Kennedy's speeches to the nation; and an annotated bibliography of print and electronic sources suitable for student research. James Nathan, an expert on the Cuban Missile Crisis, provides an interesting narrative with all the high drama of the Crisis, along with a contemporary historical perspective that will help readers to gain an understanding of the event that symbolized the height of the Cold War and its long-term significance.

Author Notes

JAMES A. NATHAN is Khaled bin Sultan Eminent Scholar at Auburn University, Montgomery./e A former Foreign Service Officer, he has also taught at the University Delaware, Johns Hopkins University, SAIS, the Naval War College and the Army War College. He is the author or coauthor of six books and some 70 articles on international affairs.

Table of Contents

Randall M. Miller
Series Forewordp. ix
Prefacep. xiii
Acknowledgmentsp. xvii
Chronology of Eventsp. xix
The Cuban Missile Crisis Explainedp. 1
1 Introductionp. 3
2 Kennedy, Apocalyptic Power, and the Cold War Backdropp. 11
3 Enter Cubap. 21
4 Cuba: Cold War Competition and Containment by Stealthp. 31
5 The Politics of a "Perfect Failure": The Bay of Pigs Invasionp. 43
6 Blowback and Berlinp. 55
7 Cuba: "The Top Priority in the United States Government--All Else Is Secondary"p. 71
8 August 1962: Spotting the Buildup, Planning for the Worstp. 81
9 Thirteen Days on the Brink of War: The Cuban Missile Crisisp. 93
10 The Nuclear Dimensionp. 103
11 Conclusionp. 115
Biographies: The Personalities behind the Cuban Missile Crisisp. 129
Primary Documents of the Cuban Missile Crisisp. 159
Annotated Bibliographyp. 199
Indexp. 207