- 28,99 €
Bestselling author Max Hastings offers a welcome re-evaluation of one of the most gripping and tense international events in modern history—the Cuban Missile Crisis—providing a people-focused narrative that explores the attitudes and conduct of Russians, Cubans, Americans, and a terrified world that followed each moment as it unfolded.
In The Abyss, Max Hastings turns his focus to one of the most terrifying events of the mid-twentieth century—the thirteen days in October 1962 when the world stood on the brink of nuclear war. Hastings looks at the conflict with fresh eyes, focusing on the people at the heart of the crisis—America President John F. Kennedy, Soviet First Secretary Nikita Khrushchev, Cuban Prime Minister Fidel Castro, and a host of their advisors.
Combining in-depth research with Hasting’s well-honed insights, The Abyss is a human history that unfolds on a wide, colorful canvas. As the action moves back and forth from Moscow to Washington, DC, to Havana, Hastings seeks to explain, as much as to describe, the attitudes and conduct of the Soviets, Cubans, and Americans, and to recreate the tension and heightened fears of countless innocent bystanders whose lives hung in the balance. Reflecting on the outcome of these events, he reveals how the aftermath of this momentous crisis continues to reverberate today.
Powerful, and riveting, filled with compelling detail and told with narrative flair, The Abyss is history at its finest.
Hastings (Operation Pedestal) highlights in this engrossing account just how close the U.S. and the Soviet Union came to nuclear war in October 1962. Contending that Russia's recent invasion of Ukraine gives the Cuban Missile Crisis "a deeply distressing immediacy," he notes that all nuclear nations "take risks that could one day prove disastrous for humanity, because somebody miscalculates, overreaches, or concedes to subordinates opportunities to do so." Throughout, Hastings draws sharp personality profiles of John F. Kennedy, Nikita Khrushchev, Fidel Castro, and their top-level advisers, and expertly mines archival records to recreate the contemporaneous rationale for their decision-making, even when it looks foolish or reckless in hindsight. He also expands beyond the "pivotal thirteen days" when the crisis reached its height, providing essential context in cogent discussions of the Cuban Revolution, the Bay of Pigs invasion, the Soviet space program, and more. Flashes of color ("What sort of camp is it?" asked Khrushchev when told he'd been invited to visit President Eisenhower at Camp David in 1959. "A place they put people they don't trust?") enliven sober warnings about the need for world leaders who can sift through multiple sources of information and back down from a fight when the cost is too great. This riveting history speaks clearly to the present moment.