100 books like The Soviet Cuban Missile Crisis

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Here are 100 books that The Soviet Cuban Missile Crisis fans have personally recommended if you like The Soviet Cuban Missile Crisis. Shepherd is a community of 9,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Gambling with Armageddon

By Martin J. Sherwin,

Book cover of Gambling with Armageddon: Nuclear Roulette from Hiroshima to the Cuban Missile Crisis

L谩szl贸 Borhi Author Of Hungary in the Cold War, 1945-1956: Between the United States and the Soviet Union

From the list on the search for truth in history.

Who am I?

I come from a small country, Hungary, the past of which was consciously falsified in the political system under which I grew up. Some chapters of it, like the cold war period, Soviet rule, the revolution of 1956 couldn't even be discussed. I was lucky because communism collapsed and archives were gradually opened just as I started my career as a historian. Books on international history are usually written from the perspective of the powerful states, I was interested in looking at this story from the perspective of the small guy. Writing this book was both a professional challenge and a personal matter for me. I'm currently a professor at Indiana University-Bloomington.

L谩szl贸's book list on the search for truth in history

Why did L谩szl贸 love this book?

I was privileged to know Marty Sherwin in person. He was the friendliest person ever with a tremendous sense of humour 鈥 and a magnificent, honest scholar.

He was the friendliest person ever with a tremendous sense of humour 鈥 and a magnificent, honest scholar. History, as Paul Ricoeur has reminded, is not a record to be played.聽The Cold War nuclear standoff between the United States and the Soviet Union, and mainly, the Cuban missile crisis did not have to end as they did, peacefully.

When two A bombs were dropped on Japan in 1945, a genie was released that the world will not be able to get rid of any time soon. Martin J. Sherwin, the doyen of American nuclear historians always argued that this did not have to be so. Nuclear technology could have been placed under international supervision and arms race and proliferation could have been鈥

By Martin J. Sherwin,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Gambling with Armageddon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of American Prometheus comes the first effort to set the Cuban Missile Crisis, with its potential for nuclear holocaust, in a wider historical narrative of the Cold War鈥攈ow such a crisis arose, and why at the very last possible moment it didn't happen.

In this groundbreaking look at the Cuban Missile Crisis, Martin Sherwin not only gives us a riveting sometimes hour-by-hour explanation of the crisis itself, but also explores the origins, scope, and consequences of the evolving place of nuclear weapons in the post-World War II world. Mining new sources and materials, and going鈥


The Silent Guns of Two Octobers

By Theodore Voorhees,

Book cover of The Silent Guns of Two Octobers: Kennedy and Khrushchev Play the Double Game

Sheldon M. Stern Author Of The Week the World Stood Still: Inside the Secret Cuban Missile Crisis

From the list on Cuban Missile Crisis.

Who am I?

In early 1981, the JFK Library began the process of declassifying the Cuban missile crisis ExComm tapes; as the Library鈥檚 Historian, the responsibility for reviewing these recordings was mine鈥攁nd it changed my life. I spent most of the next two years listening to the tapes from the legendary 13 Days (and subsequently from the November 鈥減ost-crisis鈥). I was the first non-ExComm participant and professional historian to hear and evaluate these unique and definitive historical recordings. After the tapes were declassified in the late 1990s, I wrote three books (published by Stanford University Press) about their historical importance.

Sheldon's book list on Cuban Missile Crisis

Why did Sheldon love this book?

Voorhees' assessment of John F. Kennedy's leadership during the Cuban missile crisis is strikingly different from most books on the subject. He examines JFK's decision-making through the lens of the president's domestic political concerns and use of back-channel diplomacy with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev rather than through the conventional workings of his foreign and national security policy establishments. He also challenges the prevailing view that Kennedy's ultimate strategy for resolving the crisis was primarily shaped by the 鈥淓xComm鈥 or by the top officials at the Pentagon, State Department, and CIA. Voorhees insists, supported by an impressive array of evidence, that the Cuban missile crisis did not bring the world to the brink of nuclear Armageddon and his book promises to become an integral part of the historical conversation.

By Theodore Voorhees,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Silent Guns of Two Octobers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Silent Guns of Two Octobers uses new as well as previously under-appreciated documentary evidence to link the Cuban Missile Crisis to the Checkpoint Charlie tank standoff to achieve the impossible-craft a new, thoughtful, original analysis of a political showdown everyone thought they knew everything about. Ultimately the book concludes that much of the Cold War rhetoric the leaders employed was mere posturing; in reality neither had any intention of starting a nuclear war. Theodore Voorhees reexamines Khrushchev's and Kennedy's leadership, decision, and rhetoric in light of the new documentary evidence available. Voorhees examines the impact of John F. Kennedy's鈥


Blind Over Cuba

By David M. Barrett, Max Holland,

Book cover of Blind Over Cuba: The Photo Gap and the Missile Crisis

Sheldon M. Stern Author Of The Week the World Stood Still: Inside the Secret Cuban Missile Crisis

From the list on Cuban Missile Crisis.

Who am I?

In early 1981, the JFK Library began the process of declassifying the Cuban missile crisis ExComm tapes; as the Library鈥檚 Historian, the responsibility for reviewing these recordings was mine鈥攁nd it changed my life. I spent most of the next two years listening to the tapes from the legendary 13 Days (and subsequently from the November 鈥減ost-crisis鈥). I was the first non-ExComm participant and professional historian to hear and evaluate these unique and definitive historical recordings. After the tapes were declassified in the late 1990s, I wrote three books (published by Stanford University Press) about their historical importance.

Sheldon's book list on Cuban Missile Crisis

Why did Sheldon love this book?

In 1960, a planned summit meeting in Paris between the US, the USSR, England, and France was suddenly jeopardized when an American U-2 spy plane was shot down over Russia and the pilot captured. Khrushchev demanded an end to the flights and an apology. President Eisenhower agreed to suspend flights until the end of his term (nine months later), but the Soviet leader angrily denounced the offer and returned to Moscow. Ironically, President Kennedy鈥檚 concern in 1962 about 鈥渁nother U-2 crisis鈥 convinced him to suspend U-2 flights over Cuba鈥攁 pause that lasted from late August to early October. JFK did agree to authorize one flight over western Cuba in response to pressure from CIA director John McCone鈥攁nd the missiles were luckily discovered just before they had become operational.

By David M. Barrett, Max Holland,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Blind Over Cuba as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the aftermath of the Cuban Missile Crisis, questions persisted about how the potential cataclysm had been allowed to develop. A subsequent congressional investigation focused on what came to be known as the "photo gap": five weeks during which intelligence-gathering flights over Cuba had been attenuated.

In Blind over Cuba, David M. Barrett and Max Holland challenge the popular perception of the Kennedy administration's handling of the Soviet Union's surreptitious deployment of missiles in the Western Hemisphere. Rather than epitomizing it as a masterpiece of crisis management by policy makers and the administration, Barrett and Holland make the case that鈥


Awaiting Armageddon

By Alice L George,

Book cover of Awaiting Armageddon: How Americans Faced the Cuban Missile Crisis

Sheldon M. Stern Author Of The Week the World Stood Still: Inside the Secret Cuban Missile Crisis

From the list on Cuban Missile Crisis.

Who am I?

In early 1981, the JFK Library began the process of declassifying the Cuban missile crisis ExComm tapes; as the Library鈥檚 Historian, the responsibility for reviewing these recordings was mine鈥攁nd it changed my life. I spent most of the next two years listening to the tapes from the legendary 13 Days (and subsequently from the November 鈥減ost-crisis鈥). I was the first non-ExComm participant and professional historian to hear and evaluate these unique and definitive historical recordings. After the tapes were declassified in the late 1990s, I wrote three books (published by Stanford University Press) about their historical importance.

Sheldon's book list on Cuban Missile Crisis

Why did Sheldon love this book?

At the height of the Cuban missile crisis, President Kennedy met with the Pentagon鈥檚 head of civil defense, Steuart Pittman, to assess plans for protecting the American civilian population in the event of nuclear war. JFK mistakenly claimed that rural America could be better protected from radiation than urban America; Pittman, however, bluntly told the president that he was wrong: insisting that, 鈥渢he only protection today is in the cities and there is little or no protection in the rural areas.鈥 Kennedy became quite irritated, but unfortunately, his harsh reply was largely lost because the sound quality of the tape recording suddenly went from poor to inaudible. The fact that the President himself was so misinformed about civil defense sums up the research and conclusions of Alice George鈥檚 sobering book: planning for civil defense had been chaotic and inadequate and if nuclear war had come the results would have been鈥

By Alice L George,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Awaiting Armageddon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For thirteen days in October 1962, America stood at the brink of nuclear war. Nikita Khrushchev's decision to place nuclear missiles in Cuba and John F. Kennedy's defiant response introduced the possibility of unprecedented cataclysm. The immediate threat of destruction entered America's classrooms and its living rooms. Awaiting Armageddon provides the first in-depth look at this crisis as it roiled outside of government offices, where ordinary Americans realized their government was unprepared to protect either itself or its citizens from the dangers of nuclear war.

During the seven days between Kennedy's announcement of a naval blockade and Khrushchev's decision to鈥


Abyss

By Max Hastings,

Book cover of Abyss: The Cuban Missile Crisis 1962

Vic Flintham Author Of Close Call: RAF Close Air Support in the Mediterranean Volume II Sicily to Victory in Italy 1943-1945

From the list on modern military aviation.

Who am I?

Born in London at the height of the Blitz I am a retired NHS Director with a lifelong interest in military aviation. My first journal article, on the Suez Campaign, was published in 1965 since when I have written some 90 articles and eight books and have contributed chapters to several more. Most of my books are triggered by a challenge and I always try to cover ground hitherto ignored so that my books become a unique reference. Works in progress include a history of the RAF involvement in Greece from 1940 to 1950 and the work of the RAF between the wars. I live in Sherborne, Dorset, England.

Vic's book list on modern military aviation

Why did Vic love this book?

Max Hastings is a journalist and author of several dozen books mainly on warfare. Being well-connected he is able to draw on a wide circle of friends and acquaintances to contribute their experiences, research, and ideas to his own analysis of one of the most potentially dangerous events in post-war history.

His books draw on a very wide range of sources and are invariably highly readable but also reliable. Much has been written about the Cuban Missile Crisis and Abyss pulls facts together in a digestible way with references throughout and a useful but far from complete bibliography.

What is remarkable is that the work was undertaken within the constraints of the Covid-19 pandemic that effectively closed off archives and libraries for up to two years.

By Max Hastings,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Abyss as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Times History Book of the Year 2022 From the #1 bestselling historian Max Hastings 'the heart-stopping story of the missile crisis' Daily Telegraph

The 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis was the most perilous event in history, when mankind faced a looming nuclear collision between the United States and Soviet Union. During those weeks, the world gazed into the abyss of potential annihilation.

Max Hastings's graphic new history tells the story from the viewpoints of national leaders, Russian officers, Cuban peasants, American pilots and British disarmers. Max Hastings deploys his accustomed blend of eye-witness interviews, archive documents and diaries, White House鈥


Cuba

By Ada Ferrer,

Book cover of Cuba: An American History

Ariel Mae Lambe Author Of No Barrier Can Contain It: Cuban Antifascism and the Spanish Civil War

From the list on understanding Cuba鈥檚 turbulent 1930s.

Who am I?

I was a history major when I left for a Havana study abroad semester in 2003, but I had not studied Cuba. My introduction was a University of Havana class on the period of the Cuban Republic, in which I sat surrounded by Cuban students. My classroom learning was aided by the public history representations all around me in the city. I was hooked. I wrote my undergraduate thesis at Yale on Cuban activist intellectuals of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and a few years later went on the begin my doctorate in Latin American History at Columbia. I have been a historian of Cuba ever since, 20 years.

Ariel's book list on understanding Cuba鈥檚 turbulent 1930s

Why did Ariel love this book?

Anyone interested in learning about any part of the history of Cuba should start with Ada Ferrer鈥檚 magnificent, Pulitzer Prize-winning Cuba: An American History. Ferrer is one of the premier historians of Cuba in the world, and an excellent writer as well. In Cuba, she begins with her own birth on the island, and then spans the history of her homeland from Columbus to COVID, covering major topics, trends, and events in between, and thoroughly engaging the reader throughout. The text is sophisticated but accessible, expansive but detailed鈥攊t is first-rate scholarship while simultaneously emotionally rewarding. I both laughed out loud and cried on various occasions while reading Ferrer鈥檚 book, and I learned a great deal, even though I am a scholar of Cuban history myself. The book will provide vital context to the reader of 1930s Cuban history.

By Ada Ferrer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Cuba as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE IN HISTORY
WINNER OF THE LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE IN HISTORY

"Full of...lively insights and lucid prose" (The Wall Street Journal) an epic, sweeping history of Cuba and its complex ties to the United States-from before the arrival of Columbus to the present day-written by one of the world's leading historians of Cuba.

In 1961, at the height of the Cold War, the United States severed diplomatic relations with Cuba, where a momentous revolution had taken power three years earlier. For more than half a century, the stand-off continued-through the tenure of ten American鈥


Fidel

By Tad Szulc,

Book cover of Fidel: A Critical Portrait

John Thorndike Author Of A Hundred Fires in Cuba

From the list on Cuba, the Revolution, and Cuban exiles.

Who am I?

Over fifty years ago I joined the Peace Corps in El Salvador. I married a Salvadoran woman, and our child was born during our two-year stay on a backcountry farm in Chile. My interest in Latin America has never faded鈥攁nd in my latest novel, The World Against Her Skin, which is based on my mother鈥檚 life, I give her a pair of years in the Peace Corps. But it is Cuba that remains the most fascinating of all the countries south of our border, and of course I had to write about the giant turn it took in 1959, and the men and women who spurred that revolution.

John's book list on Cuba, the Revolution, and Cuban exiles

Why did John love this book?

It was here that I first discovered Camilo Cienfuegos鈥攚hom I write about in my book. Camilo was the last of 82 men to board a small yacht, the Granma, which sailed, in November of 1956, from Tuxpan, Mexico to the south shore of Cuba. Fifteen men survived the landing and made their way up into the Sierra Maestra to start the Revolution. This is one of the hemisphere鈥檚 most remarkable stories, and Szulc鈥檚 book remains the definitive work on Fidel Castro and his campaign to unseat Fulgencio Batista.

By Tad Szulc,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Fidel as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The outcome of a long, direct relationship, this riveting portrait reveals astonishing and exclusive information about Cuba, the revolution, and the notorious, larger-than-life leader who has ruled his country with an iron fist for more than forty years. Only Tad Szulc could bring Fidel to such vivid life--the loves and losses of the man, the devious tactics of the conspirator, the triumphs and defeats of the revolutionary leader who challenged an American president and brought the world to the brink of nuclear disaster. From Jesuit schools to jungle hideouts and the Palace of the Revolution, here is FIDEL...THE UNTOLD STORY.


Pleasure Island

By Rosalie Schwartz,

Book cover of Pleasure Island: Tourism and Temptation in Cuba

Van Gosse Author Of Where the Boys Are: Cuba, Cold War and the Making of a New Left

From the list on Cuba and the United States.

Who am I?

Van Gosse, Professor of History at Franklin & Marshall College, is the author of Where the Boys Are: Cuba, Cold War America, and the Making of a New Left, published in 1993 and still in print, a classic account of how "Yankees" engaged with the Cuban Revolution in its early years. Since then he has published widely on solidarity with Latin America and the New Left; for the past ten years he has also taught a popular course, "Cuba and the United States: The Closest of Strangers."

Van's book list on Cuba and the United States

Why did Van love this book?

The Machado Era (1924-1933) and the build-up of U.S. tourism are key to Cuba鈥檚 later history, but I have always found that period hard to teach.聽Schwartz does an admirable job of documenting the close connections between business circles in both countries, and the process by which Cuba became a playground for wealthy Americans in the 鈥楾eens and Twenties, fueling both deep corruption and a powerful anti-imperialism.

By Rosalie Schwartz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Pleasure Island as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Pleasure Island explores the tourism industry in Cuba between 1920 and 1960, as international travel ceased to be primarily a privilege of the wealthy, incorporating the world's growing middle class. Rosalie Schwartz examines tourists' changing ideas of leisure and recreation, as well as the response of a colonial-era Spanish city turned fleshpot and endless cabaret. The tourism industry mushroomed in and around Havana after 1920, as hundreds of thousands of North Americans transformed the city in collaboration with a local business and political elite. The Depression, exacerbated by a bloody revolution in 1933, plunged the tourism industry into a downward鈥


One Day in December

By Nancy Stout,

Book cover of One Day in December: Celia S谩nchez and the Cuban Revolution

John Thorndike Author Of A Hundred Fires in Cuba

From the list on Cuba, the Revolution, and Cuban exiles.

Who am I?

Over fifty years ago I joined the Peace Corps in El Salvador. I married a Salvadoran woman, and our child was born during our two-year stay on a backcountry farm in Chile. My interest in Latin America has never faded鈥攁nd in my latest novel, The World Against Her Skin, which is based on my mother鈥檚 life, I give her a pair of years in the Peace Corps. But it is Cuba that remains the most fascinating of all the countries south of our border, and of course I had to write about the giant turn it took in 1959, and the men and women who spurred that revolution.

John's book list on Cuba, the Revolution, and Cuban exiles

Why did John love this book?

Stout gives us, in remarkable detail, the life of a woman deeply involved with the Cuban Revolution. Just how deeply came as a revelation to me. No book, I believe, in either Spanish or English, has told us a tenth as much about Celia Sanchez. Celia was Fidel鈥檚 partner through all the early days of the movement. I was swept along by the clear prose, the dynamic character of Celia Sanchez, and a thousand stories I鈥檇 never heard before. The Cuban Revolution, like many others, has been mythologized, and here is the perfect antidote: the story of a determined woman operating at the very heart of the Revolution.

By Nancy Stout,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked One Day in December as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Celia S谩nchez is the missing actor of the Cuban Revolution. Although not as well known in the English-speaking world as Fidel Castro and Che Guevara, S谩nchez played a pivotal role in launching the revolution and administering the revolutionary state. She joined the clandestine 26th of July Movement and went on to choose the landing site of the Granma and fight with the rebels in the Sierra Maestra. She collected the documents that would form the official archives of the revolution, and, after its victory, launched numerous projects that enriched the lives of many Cubans, from parks to literacy programs to鈥


Back Channel to Cuba

By William M. LeoGrande, Peter Kornbluh,

Book cover of Back Channel to Cuba: The Hidden History of Negotiations between Washington and Havana

Van Gosse Author Of Where the Boys Are: Cuba, Cold War and the Making of a New Left

From the list on Cuba and the United States.

Who am I?

Van Gosse, Professor of History at Franklin & Marshall College, is the author of Where the Boys Are: Cuba, Cold War America, and the Making of a New Left, published in 1993 and still in print, a classic account of how "Yankees" engaged with the Cuban Revolution in its early years. Since then he has published widely on solidarity with Latin America and the New Left; for the past ten years he has also taught a popular course, "Cuba and the United States: The Closest of Strangers."

Van's book list on Cuba and the United States

Why did Van love this book?

Utterly engrossing, this behind-the-scenes narrative over many decades demonstrates that the Cuban diplomats were almost always willing to move towards normalizing relations, but were repeatedly stymied by non-negotiable demands from the U.S. side.聽Besides that, it鈥檚 full of piquant details, involving the many non-official actors and secret meetings in New York, on the island, or in other countries. Diplomatic history rarely gets this exciting!

By William M. LeoGrande, Peter Kornbluh,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Back Channel to Cuba as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Challenging the conventional wisdom of perpetual hostility between the United States and Cuba--beyond invasions, covert operations, assassination plots using poison pens and exploding seashells, and a grinding economic embargo--this fascinating book chronicles a surprising, untold history of bilateral efforts toward rapprochement and reconciliation. Since 1959, conflict and aggression have dominated the story of U.S.-Cuban relations. Now, William M. LeoGrande and Peter Kornbluh present a new and increasingly more relevant account. From John F. Kennedy's offering of an olive branch to Fidel Castro after the missile crisis, to Henry Kissinger's top secret quest for normalization, to Barack Obama's promise of a鈥


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