AUTHORStern, Sheldon M.
TITLEThe Week the World Stood Still: Inside the Secret Cuban Missile Crisis
PUBLISHERStanford University Press
CITYStanford, CA
DATE PUBLISHED2005
ISBN0-8047-5076-9


A unique addition to the pantheon of Cuban Missile Crisis publications, this highly accessible book is an interpretive narrative based on the secret tape recordings of U.S. President John F. Kennedy’s Executive Committee of the National Security Council (ExComm). The first professional historian to listen to the tapes, author Sheldon Stern seeks to engage students and general readers by using the material to narrate the events that transpired from October 16, 1962, after the discovery of the missiles, to October 29, when Kennedy and the ExComm were trying to determine whether the Soviets had complied with the settlement. Kennedy's search for a diplomatic, non-military solution – to avoid the "final failure" of nuclear war – is a key element in the narrative, which shows that most of his ExComm advisers favored military action against Cuba. To provide context for the crisis and Kennedy's role as decision-maker, Stern analyzes the interplay of U.S.-Soviet-Cuban relations as well as Kennedy's leadership style. A collection of photographs and a fascinating description of Kennedy’s clandestine recording system is included.


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