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The Bay of Pigs by Howard Jones
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Incredibly Well-Researched

This is a wonderfully written, extensively researched monograph about the infamous Bay of Pigs fiasco in 1961 during the Kennedy Administration. Howard Jones has delved deep into the archives and Presidential papers to present one of the most complete accounts to date of the lead-up, the execution, and the aftermath of the event.

A couple of crucial elements that are reinforced through this work. Firstly, the Kennedy brothers were transfixed on the idea of assassinating Castro. And in the ultimate irony, is the fact that both Kennedy brothers were themselves victims of assassination plots while Castro lives on to this day. Secondly, Jones' confirms the notion that Kennedy's politics, and specifically his obsession with secrecy and the idea of "plausible deniability" undermined what was actually a sound military plan. Fidel Castro himself admitted that the Americans had a good plan, that was poorly executed.

Though beyond the scope of the book, one is left to wonder what quagmire awaited had the invasion succeeded. Indeed, after reading Jones' conclusions, gives impetus to reconsider the traditional view that Kennedy would not have expanded the war in Vietnam as his successor LBJ did. The Kennedy's were hardened cold-war warriors and the failure of the Bay of Pigs only stiffened their resolve.

Cannot recommend this book enough. "Bay of Pigs" is a terrific addition to the Pivotal Moments in American History series, and a must read for anyone studying 20th century American history. ( )
2 vote bruchu | Apr 8, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 019517383X, Hardcover)

In The Bay of Pigs, Howard Jones provides a concise, incisive, and dramatic account of the disastrous attempt to overthrow Castro in April 1961. Drawing on recently declassified CIA documents, Jones deftly examines the train of missteps and self-deceptions that led to the invasion of U.S.-trained exiles at the Bay of Pigs.
Ignoring warnings from the ambassador to Cuba, the Eisenhower administration put in motion an operation that proved nearly unstoppable even after the inauguration of John F. Kennedy. The CIA and Pentagon, meanwhile, both voiced confidence in the outcome of the invasion, especially after coordinating previous successful coups in Guatemala and Iran. And so the Kennedy administration launched the exile force toward its doom in Cochinos Bay on April 17, 1961. Jones gives a riveting account of the battle--and the confusion in the White House--before moving on to explore its implications. The Bay of Pigs, he writes, set the course of Kennedy's foreign policy. It was a humiliation for the administration that fueled fears of Communist domination and pushed Kennedy toward a hardline "cold warrior" stance. But at the same time, the failed attack left him deeply skeptical of CIA and military advisers and influenced his later actions during the Cuban missile crisis.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:38 -0400)

Jones provides a concise, incisive, and dramatic account of President Eisenhower's disastrous attempt to overthrow Fidel Castro. He deftly examines the train of missteps and self-deceptions that led to the invasion of U.S.-trained exiles at the Bay of Pigs.… (more)

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