The Kennedy tapes: inside the White House during the Cuban missile crisis

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Publisher:
The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press,
Pub. Date:
1997.
Language:
English
Description

October 1962: the United States and the Soviet Union stood eyeball to eyeball, each brandishing enough nuclear weapons to obliterate civilization in the Northern Hemisphere. It was one of the most dangerous moments in world history. Day by day, for two weeks, the inner circle of President Kennedy's National Security Council debated what to do, twice coming to the brink of attacking Soviet military units in Cuba--units equipped for nuclear retaliation. And through it all, unbeknownst to any of the participants except the President himself, tape was rolling, capturing for posterity the deliberations that might have ended the world as we know it.

These are the full and authenticated transcripts of those audio recordings. Arguably the most important document in the history of the Cuban missile crisis, these transcripts are also a unique window on a drama rarely if ever witnessed by those outside the halls of power: the moment-by-moment decisionmaking of those with the fate of the West in their hands in a constantly changing, world-threatening situation. At the center of it all is President Kennedy, wary of experts after the debacle of the Bay of Pigs, puzzled and distrustful after confrontations with Khrushchev in Vienna and Berlin, and ever mindful of the responsibility symbolized by the satchel his military aides hold nearby, containing the codes to unleash nuclear warfare.

In one brief segment, midway through the crisis, the President, alone, speaks his thoughts into the machine. In others, he copes with hawks from Capitol Hill and the Pentagon. And in the last meeting, we hear him explaining and defending the formula that finally defused the crisis. With him throughout are his team from the State Department, including Secretary Dean Rusk, Under Secretary George Ball, and Llewellyn Thompson; his Defense team, especially Robert McNamara; his key assistants, Theodore Sorenson and McGeorge Bundy; Secretary of the Treasury Douglas Dillon; Vice President Lyndon Johnson; and, of course, his brother Robert, the Attorney General. All are identified and put into their proper context by the editors, whose introduction makes sense of this singular drama within the history of the Cold War and the Kennedy administration and whose conclusions will shape our understanding of the Cold War.

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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID7380a49f-0d8f-0fc5-7066-6f48456259ad
Grouping Titlekennedy tapes inside the white house during the cuban missile crisis
Grouping Authorernest r may and philip d zelikow
Grouping Categorybook
Last Grouping Update2018-10-03 04:49:02AM
Last Indexed2019-10-14 04:47:35AM

Solr Details

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auth_author2May, Ernest R.
Zelikow, Philip, 1954-
author2-roleMay, Ernest R.
Zelikow, Philip,1954-
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publishDate1997
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Bib IdFormatFormat CategoryEditionLanguagePublisherPublication DatePhysical Description
ils:.b13208214BookBooksEnglishThe Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1997.xv, 728 pages, 20 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm.
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ils:.b13208214.i11368688On ShelfOn Shelffalsetruetruefalsefalsetrue9999
subject_facetCuban Missile Crisis, 1962 -- Sources
title_displayThe Kennedy tapes : inside the White House during the Cuban missile crisis
title_fullThe Kennedy tapes : inside the White House during the Cuban missile crisis / edited by Ernest R. May and Philip D. Zelikow
title_shortThe Kennedy tapes
title_subinside the White House during the Cuban missile crisis