The Cuban Missile Crisis Revisited; CIA Documents on the Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962

In This Review

The Cuban Missile Crisis Revisited

Edited by James A. Nathan
St. Martin's, 1992
302 pp. $39.95

CIA Documents on the Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962

Edited by Mary S. McAuliffe
Central Intelligence Agency, 1992
376 pp. $0.00

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.