In This Review

The Cuban Missile Crisis Revisited
The Cuban Missile Crisis Revisited
Edited by James A. Nathan
St. Martin's, 1992, 302 pp
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CIA Documents on the Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962
CIA Documents on the Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962
Edited by Mary S. McAuliffe
Central Intelligence Agency, 1992, 376 pp
Purchase

Both these books were published for the 30th anniversary of the Cuban missile crisis. Nathan's distinguished contributors, in reviewing what has been learned recently in Soviet-American-Cuban discussions of the crisis, hardly diminish the foreboding of those October days. Quite the contrary: Moscow's willingness to run risks on behalf of its Cuban ally, more than was imagined at the time, is reminiscent of America's actions on behalf of its allies; and, unbeknownst to Americans at the time, tactical Soviet nuclear missiles were operational, apparently available for use against a U.S. invasion at the discretion of the local Soviet commander. The cia documents are a welcome first installment of former cia director Robert Gates' openness initiative; perhaps these and successor volumes can push the Foreign Relations of the United States series to catch diplomatic history up to intelligence.