'ONE HELL OF A GAMBLE': KHRUSHCHEV, CASTRO, KENNEDY, AND THE CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS 1958-1964.
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1st ed., 1997. Xi + 420 pp., photo-plates. D.j., 24 x 16cm. FINE. Based on exhaustive research into American documents and exclusive access to secret Soviet archives, this book offers a terrifying glimpse of the plans, mistakes and fears of the leaders who brought the world so close to nuclear war. Kennedy did not live to write his memoirs, Castro will not reveal what he knows, and the Soviet records have long been sealed. Of the worst crisis of the Cold War – over Cuban missiles – we have had an incomplete picture. When did Castro embrace the Soviet Union? What proposals were put before the Kremlin through Kennedy's back-door diplomacy? How close was nuclear war? Only now can these questions be answered. With unprecedented access to Russian archives, the authors give us the fullest account of the climax of the Cold War. Exploring the archives provides a series of surprises and a whole new perspective on familiar events. These remarkable papers, which include the minutes of the Politburo (Presidium), contain details of over fifty secret meetings between Kennedy and Bolshavok, records of Castro's solicitation of Soviet favour, and the plans and suspicions of Khrushchev himself.