AUTHORBlight, James G. / Welch, David A.
TITLEOn the Brink: Americans and Soviets Reexamine the Cuban Missile Crisis
CITYNew York, NY

This book examines the Cuban Missile Crisis through a research method called critical oral history. Under that method, participants in the event meet with experts in the field, who encourage them to tell their stories, with the other "witnesses" permitted to interrupt and challenge those recollections. The book is organized in three parts. The first consists of a partial transcript from the Hawk’s Cay Conference in March, 1987, when former members of the John F. Kennedy presidential administration met with scholars of the crisis for three days. The second section consists of interviews by the authors of Paul Nitze, Douglas Dillon, Dean Rusk, and Robert McNamara to explore the different viewpoints (e.g., hawks versus doves) of those participants in the crisis. The final section is a partial transcript of the Cambridge Conference of October 1987, which brought together knowledgeable Soviets, former Kennedy administrational officials, and U.S. scholars. Each section closes with the authors' commentary and analysis of the transcripts. The book is well documented; an appendix contains a chronology of the crisis.

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