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One Minute To Midnight: Kennedy, Khrushchev and Castro on the Brink of Nuclear War by [Dobbs, Michael]
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One Minute To Midnight: Kennedy, Khrushchev and Castro on the Brink of Nuclear War Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Length: 448 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

"Mesmerising stuff ... a riveting hour-by-hour account of one day that could have changed the history of humanity" -- Joanna Bourke The Times "[Dobbs] has made extensive use of untapped archive material to reveal the secrets of the cloak-and-dagger operations behind the nuclear stand-off in the Caribbean... Excellent" -- John Crossland Daily Mail "A book with sobering new information ... as well as contemporary relevance ... filled with insights that will change the views of experts" -- Richard Holbrooke, former US ambassador to the UN New York Times Book Review "Dobb's hour-by-hour overview is a worthy study of this much mythologised fortnight ... Dobb's chronological approach not only provides a natural sense of pace, but also allows him to illustrate the near-fatal time lag in communication between the two sides" Time Out "In this compelling - and thrilling - new study by Michael Dobbs, there is much new material that forces us to revise our assumptions about the crisis... This is the first book about the crisis to tell the story of the tactical cruise missiles and the first to contain interviews with Soviet veterans. Dobbs adopts a cinematic style, cross-cutting between locations and time zones, and perfectly judges the acceleration of pace in the second half of the book which concentrates on Black Sunday. Unlike previous writers, Dobbs gives due prominence to the subplots, any one of which might have sparked mass destruction" -- Christopher Silvester Daily Express

Publishers Weekly, starred review (April 21, 2008)

"A densely packed, suspenseful, fast-paced narrative"

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4497 KB
  • Print Length: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Cornerstone Digital (4 Sept. 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0031RSA60
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #23,319 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback
Michael Dobbs' account of the Cuban Missile Crisis (he's not to be confused with the British Michael Dobbs of Francis Urquhart/House of Cards fame) must surely qualify as a definitive account, at least for this generation. Despite the gallons of ink spilled over those fateful 13 days, this recent book (out in 2008) has much to offer and revise. In fact, it makes recent history a thrilling read, despite the pervasive detail, evident research and deep complexity of the events.

KENNEDY & KHRUSHCHEV ON THE SAME SIDE...
Dobbs had unprecedented access to archives and key participants from both the US and Russia - and has even managed to investigate some of the sites and accounts from the Cuban perspective. As a result, he's been able to 'triangulate' every detail, synchronising accounts from each of the perspectives of Moscow, Havana and Washington. He offers a day by day account of the days leading up to what became known as Black Saturday (Saturday 27th October 1962), and then an hour by hour account of the day itself. One of the book's big themes is the fragility of the peace, even <em>after</em> the two leaders had themselves become determined to find a peaceful solution.
"The question the world confronted during what came to be known as the Cuban missile crisis was who controlled history: the men in suits, the men with beards, the men in uniform, or nobody at all? In this drama, Kennedy ended up on the same side as his ideological nemesis, Nikita Khrushchev. Neither man wanted war. They both felt an obligation to future generations to rein in the dark, destructive demons they themselves had helped to unleash.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Although more than 50 years have passed since the Cuban Missile Crisis, even now it is hard to read an account of it without feeling a sense of dread for what might have happened, and a sense of relief that it didn't. There have been many books written previously about the events of October 1962, but in this superb account, Michael Dobbs casts new light on certain aspects of the crisis (for example, the accidental flight of a U2 plane over Eastern Siberia), as well as de-bunking several myths which have developed over the years. In addition to being well-researched, 'One Minute to Midnight' is written in a clear and exciting style. I would suggest this is essential reading for anyone with an interest in the history of the twentieth century, let alone the Cold War.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book is a chronological coverage of the crisis, you get a sense of the pressures n the main actors and just how close a thing it was.

It is an enjoyable read, suitable for a long flight.
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Having a fascination with American history and particularly the Cuban Missile Crises, I have read many books relating to this subject, however, this book stands head and shoulders above its counterparts.

Well researched and very cleverly written, this book takes the reader behind the scenes of this dramatic and tense stand-off between the two superpowers of their day, capturing not only the pressure felt by the leaders in office, but also the confusion and unrest the soldiers were facing on the ground, sea and air. Also appealing is the way the author has documented all viewpoints of the crises, rather than just concentrating on the American perspective, he has detailed the thought process, decisions and even mistakes being made by Premier Khrushchev and Fidel Castro, which does add another dimension to the story and helps increase the intensity of the unfolding drama.

Written more like a fast paced novel, rather than an historical text book, the author has managed to relay the intensity of the crises in an easy to read format while still ensuring the text is full of facts and accounts that add depth and much needed detail to the subject matter. The only slight gripe I have is the author does like to "blow his own trumpet" by adding in-depth notes at the end of the book highlighting his skill at being able to dig up information that other researchers have missed, and being able to piece together various differing accounts of a similar instance to create historical fact.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a fascinating book on the Cuban Missile Crisis. Just how close we came to a nuclear exchange, on numerous occasions, is truly frightening. All the key characters in the book are well-drawn. The events are presented chronologically, which gives us a minute-by-minute account, and therefore it reads like a thriller.

JFK was no saint, but without him and the wise Kruschev in charge at the other end, the world would be a very different place right now. And what is equally fascinating is how incidents were calmed, and conflict averted, without the instant messaging systems of modern technology: American messages to Russian counterparts sometimes relied on a Cuban delivery boy with a bicycle, who often stopped on his route to chat up beautiful girls, while the world teetered on the brink of armageddon.

Highly recommended.
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