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One Hell of a Gamble Paperback – 31 Jan 2001


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Frequently Bought Together

One Hell of a Gamble + One Minute To Midnight: Kennedy, Khrushchev and Castro on the Brink of Nuclear War + The Cuban Missile Crisis: A Concise History
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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (31 Jan 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393317900
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393317909
  • Product Dimensions: 1.6 x 0.3 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 292,840 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Viva Fidel! "Not since Sandino,'' the Nation exclaimed, "has any Latin American figure so caught the imagination of the world as Fidel Castro." Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 15 Dec 2000
Format: Hardcover
There were many aspects that made up the Cold War, but the Cuban missile crisis was probably the most nerve wracking period of the late 20th. Century. This book charts, in minute detail, the period when the world held its breath. It deals with all aspects, and charts the Soviet perspective as well, to ensure a balanced and un biased view of Kennedy and Kruschev at their finest, and includes interviews, speeches and anecdotal evidence from many of the key players. I felt that the book put the correct slant on what is often a misunderstood period in world history, which is very refreshing in the current age of sensationalism, yet it still conveyed the tension and drama that existed as the superpowers faced off once more. I can honestly say that I found it a riveting read, and would thoroughly recommend it to anyone.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 24 Jan 1999
Format: Paperback
In One Hell of a Gamble, Fursenko and Naftali cut to the heart of the Cuban Missile Crisis and the surrounding politics. Due to the end of the Cold War, they were able to obtain many first-hand accounts of the superpower rivalry from the participants themselves. Using this newfound knowledge, they craft a timeless account of the behind-the-scenes politics that formed the backbone of US-Soviet relations during the Kennedy era. A chilling perspective is offered on how close the world really came to nuclear annihilation in the fall of 1962. Congrats to Fursenko and Naftali for producing a gripping work that I highly recommend to all students of the Cold War or politics in general.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 20 Aug 1997
Format: Hardcover
Overlooked in every major review of this book to date is the unprecedented revelation of the Kennedy family's appreciation of the conspiracy that struck down the president. Based upon records available in the Kennedy Library, the authors conclude that William Walton, one of JFK's "closest friends," traveled to Moscow on November 29, 1963 as the personal emmissary of Robert and Jacqueline Kennedy. His secret mission: meet with Georgi Bolshakov (who, in another important revelation is identified as "the Russian end of a secret link between the White House and the Kremlin" during the Missile Crisis) and inform him that "the Kennedys believed that the president was felled by domestic opponents." "'Dallas was the ideal location for such a crime,' Walton told Bolshakov. He then explained that "the Kennedys believed that a large political conspiracy was behind (the rifles)."

Secret White House/Kremlin links? Why? Were the Kennedy brothers mistrustful of those with access to conventional
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 6 Jan 1999
Format: Paperback
Naftali and Fursenko have done a fascinating job in this tremendously engrossing book about the prelude, climax, and aftermath of the Cuban Missile Crisis. A complete revelation of the personalites of the three players, Kennedy, Khrushchev, and Castro is compelling and informative. The reader will walk away with a new found appreciation for the back-channel diplomacy utilized at the height of the crisis, Overall, just a fine scholarly work, a must for all interested in international relations.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 30 Aug 1997
Format: Hardcover
This is one of those rare historical works where the facts are bolder than any fictional account would dare to be. It is a page turner that puts to rest some of the conventional wisdom of the Khrushchev-Kennedy cold war period. For those of us who lived through those dark days, it is a startling revelation about what really went on behind the scenes and how close we nearly came to total annihilation. For those not yet born, it is an insightful portrait of the times and a microcosm of the cold war. The book never seeks to place blame; its apparent goal is only to reveal as many facts, communications and miscommunications that forrmed the calculus for all the critical decisions of the times. It reads like a good spy novel and has the additional capacity to inform. A great read.
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