The Armageddon Letters

Kennedy, Khrushchev, Castro in the Cuban Missile Crisis

By (author) James G. Blight, janet M. Lang

Paperback - £25.00

Publication date:

14 September 2012

Length of book:

320 pages


Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

ISBN-13: 9781442216792

In October, 1962, the Cuban missile crisis brought human civilization to the brink of destruction. On the 50th anniversary of the most dangerous confrontation of the nuclear era, two of the leading experts on the crisis recreate the drama of those tumultuous days as experienced by the leaders of the three countries directly involved: U.S. President John F. Kennedy, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, and Cuban President Fidel Castro. Organized around the letters exchanged among the leaders as the crisis developed and augmented with many personal details of the circumstances under which they were written, considered, and received, Blight and Lang poignantly document the rapidly shifting physical and psychological realities faced in Washington, Moscow, and Havana. The result is a revolving stage that allows the reader to experience the Cuban missile crisis as never before—through the eyes of each leader as they move through the crisis. The Armageddon Letters: Kennedy, Khrushchev, Castro in the Cuban Missile Crisis transports the reader back to October 1962, telling a story as gripping as any fictional apocalyptic novel.
In The Armageddon Letters, authors James Blight and janet Lang provide readers with a front row seat to one of the most terrifying horror stories of all time. Except this isn’t fiction—it’s real. For 13 harrowing days in October 1962, the leaders of the United States, the Soviet Union, and Cuba inadvertently brought the world within a hairs breadth of nuclear catastrophe. Part historical archive, part movie script, and part comic book, the Armageddon Letters creatively transports the reader back in time, rapidly moving us to and from Washington, Moscow, and Havana as if we were at the epicenter of the crisis, sharing in the fear, determination, and helplessness of its creators. There’s no one better than Jim and janet to take us on this journey. Their tireless scholarship over the past twenty-five years has revolutionized our understanding of the crisis, revealing that the threat of nuclear war was much greater than any of the participants could have possibly imagined. The implications of this near miss with disaster are clear. Beneath the seemingly stable veneer of the Cold War lies the chaos of the Cuban missile crisis. So long as nuclear weapons exist – and approximately 22,000 of them can still be found in nine countries—the risk of catastrophe will remain. We lucked out fifty years ago. We may not be so lucky next time.