Wednesday, 15 April 2015

When Angels Wept
America Goes To War
Over Cuban Missiles

I've just finished re-reading this thought provoking book about the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the nuclear war that nearly resulted from it. It's presented as a 'history' of the war as written by a survivor, whose family emigrated from the US to Australia following the war.

I enjoyed it and found it to be well written and very readable. The author has a feel for his principal characters (Kennedy and Khrushchev), along with the bit players and resists the urge to over do the nuclear 'fire' too. While an all out nuclear war in 1962 would be incredibly destructive, it wouldn't have been the end of the world (sic) that it would have been just a few years later.

While I enjoyed the book (it is after all well written and an easy read, despite the inclusion of footnotes and references, which are often fictional themselves), I did notice some errors regarding the US invasion plans, which are easily found online. Otherwise though I think it was a believable 'could have been' and the assessment of the targets hit didn't fall into the trap of assuming that because a location is important today, it would have been in 1962 (Los Angeles, for example, wouldn't have been a priority target back then).

I've included the Amazon link, which will give access to sellers retailing it for a fraction of the price Amazon are asking. £19 for this is a bit steep in my humble opinion, but at £5 or so it is worth a read if you are interested in the era.

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