The Abyss: Nuclear Crisis Cuba 1962

Harper: HarperCollins. Oct. 2022. 544p. ISBN 9780062980137. $35. HIST
In October 1962, the world stood on the brink of nuclear war over the Soviet Union’s deployment of nuclear missiles to the small Caribbean nation of Cuba. Award winning journalist and historian Hastings (Operation Pedestal) masterfully places the Cuban Missile Crisis within the tensions and relations between the United States and the Soviet Union in their Cold War context. The tense and suspenseful atmosphere interweaving the negotiations and political developments as they occurred between Cuba, the Soviet Union, and the U.S. are palpable in this elegantly written account. The personalities of all major players, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, Fidel Castro, U.S. President John F. Kennedy, and other minor diplomats and government officials are all fully realized in this book. The author does an excellent job of incorporating the views of other foreign governments, such as Great Britain and France, who recognized the gravity of the situation but viewed Berlin as the focal point of the Cold War. Based on extensive archival research, including in the UK, this eminently readable account provides a nice, single volume overview of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
VERDICT Recommended for readers interested in this specific crisis and Cold War history in general.
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