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One Minute to Midnight: Kennedy, Khrushchev,…

One Minute to Midnight: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and Castro on the Brink of… (2008)

by Michael Dobbs

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Cold War Trilogy (2)

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5301728,769 (4.19)10



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English (16)  German (1)  All languages (17)
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
This book came highly recommended, and it delivered a well written perspective on the Cuban crisis.

I felt a little disconnected from the book - being separated from the situation by gaps in geography, nationality and generation.

Born in the 70's - is it wrong to say "I wish this book had more pictures in it?"

...yeah. I know. ( )
  MsMaison | Dec 5, 2017 |
Never read in detail about the Cuba Crisis. So after reading Dobbs book I actually was a bit shaken.

So many things could have gone wrong, so many things beyond control from JFK or Khrusjtjov, so many close calls, so many series of events having their own life and momentum. The way USAF planes with atomic weapons was dispersed throughout USA on airfields utterly unsuitable for the task. Atomic weapons that could be launched by individuals, not needing a second person or code to confirm. From both sides.

Fortunately common sense prevailed. And, according to Dobbs, both JFK and Khrusjtjov should be credited.

I know, a story has many facets and this is my first and - so far – only book on the subject. And one book may not be enough to get the true picture, if there is a true picture. But still a can’t help thinking: I was born in August 1962 and I could have lived my life in an atomic winther, if my family had survived.

Read the book and draw your own conclusions. Mr. Dobbs writes in a very readable manner and the book is highly recommendable.
( )
  JesperCFS2 | Mar 13, 2017 |
  BrokenTune | Aug 21, 2016 |
One Minute to Midnight is an hour by hour reconstruction of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Dobbs has done original archival research and brings to the page new facts never before published. His main thesis is that there was no "eyeball to eyeball and the Soviets blinked", that was propaganda by the Kennedy team. Rather he shows that both sides came closer to war than they realized, were in less control of events then they thought. It's a great lesson of history and instructive about the complexity of events. It leads to the pessimistic conclusion that an accidental nuclear detonation or war was (and still is) very possible. ( )
1 vote Stbalbach | Jun 22, 2014 |
A well researched book that brings new light to a crisis that was mythologized in the immediate aftermath and in the decades following. It gives a very balanced view of events from the three main perspectives: American, Russian, and Cuban. With the addition of declassified US and Soviet records of military activities as well as conversations among senior leadership, we see Kennedy and Kruschchev as the cooler heads who prevailed over institutions that had a lot of inertia moving them towards war. It wasn't the macro level brinksmanship of placing the missiles in Cuba nor the American blockade that brought the world to the brink, but rather several small events beyond anyone's real control that could have triggered a tumble into a nuclear exchange; from a Soviet sub skipper ordering the "lock and load" of a nuclear torpedo to a US U-2 pilot inadvertently straying 300 miles into the USSR at just the wrong time, things could've gone very badly. A final chapter on lessons-learned for the US and USSR would have been interesting, in terms of improved protocols for military encounters at sea, airspace incursions, and direct communications between the heads of state. ( )
  traumleben | Jun 1, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Michael Dobbsprimary authorall editionscalculated
Booher, JasonCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Walter, BobNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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In October 1962, at the height of the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union were sliding inexorably toward a nuclear conflict over the placement of missiles in Cuba. Veteran journalist Michael Dobbs has used previously untapped American, Soviet, and Cuban sources to produce the most authoritative book yet on the Cuban missile crisis. In his hour-by-hour chronicle, he takes us onto the decks of American ships patrolling Cuba; inside sweltering Soviet submarines and missile units as they ready their warheads; and inside the White House and the Kremlin as Kennedy and Khrushchev--rational, intelligent men separated by an ocean of ideological suspicion--agonize over the possibility of war. He shows how these two leaders recognized the terrifying realities of the nuclear age while Castro--never swayed by conventional political considerations--demonstrated the messianic ambition of a man selected by history for a unique mission.--From publisher description.… (more)

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