No other book offers this inside look at the strategies of the Soviet leadership. John F. Kennedy did t live to write his memoirs; Fidel Castro will t reveal what he kws; and the records of the Soviet Union have long been sealed from public view: Of the most frightening episode of the Cold War--the Cuban Missile Crisis--we have had an incomplete picture. When did Castro embrace the Soviet Union? What proposals were put before the Kremlin through Kennedy's back-channel diplomacy? How close did we come to nuclear war? These questions have w been answered for the first time. This important and controversial book draws the missing half of the story from secret Soviet archives revealed exclusively by the authors, including the files of Nikita Khrushchev and his leadership circle. Contained in these remarkable documents are the details of over forty secret meetings between Robert Kennedy and his Soviet contact, records of Castro's first solicitation of Soviet favor, and the plans, suspicions, and strategies of Khrushchev. This unique research opportunity has allowed the authors to tell the complete, fascinating, and terrifying story of the most dangerous days of the last half-century.
Aleksandr Fursenko, one of Russia's leading historians, is a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Timothy Naftali, a frequent contributor to Slate and NPR, is director of the federal Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum. He lives in Los Angeles, California.