The Abyss: Nuclear Crisis Cuba 1962 (Hardcover)

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Description


Bestselling author Max Hastings offers a welcome re-evaluation of one of the most gripping and tense international events in modern history—the Cuban Missile Crisis—providing a people-focused narrative that explores the attitudes and conduct of Russians, Cubans, Americans, and a terrified world that followed each moment as it unfolded.

In The Abyss, Max Hastings turns his focus to one of the most terrifying events of the mid-twentieth century—the thirteen days in October 1962 when the world stood on the brink of nuclear war. Hastings looks at the conflict with fresh eyes, focusing on the people at the heart of the crisis—America President John F. Kennedy, Soviet First Secretary Nikita Khrushchev, Cuban Prime Minister Fidel Castro, and a host of their advisors.

Combining in-depth research with Hasting’s well-honed insights, The Abyss is a human history that unfolds on a wide, colorful canvas. As the action moves back and forth from Moscow to Washington, DC, to Havana, Hastings seeks to explain, as much as to describe, the attitudes and conduct of the Soviets, Cubans, and Americans, and to recreate the tension and heightened fears of countless innocent bystanders whose lives hung in the balance. Reflecting on the outcome of these events, he reveals how the aftermath of this momentous crisis continues to reverberate today.

Powerful, and riveting, filled with compelling detail and told with narrative flair, The Abyss is history at its finest.

About the Author


Sir Max Hastings chronicles Vietnam with the benefit of vivid personal memories: first of reporting in 1967-68 from the United States, where he encountered many of the war’s decision-makers including President Lyndon Johnson, then of successive assignments in Indochina for newspapers and BBC TV: he rode a helicopter out of the US Saigon embassy compound during the 1975 final evacuation. He is the author of twenty-six books, most about conflict, and between 1986 and 2002 served as editor-in-chief of the Daily Telegraph, then editor of the Evening Standard. He has won many prizes both for journalism and his books, of which the most recent are All Hell Let Loose, Catastrophe and The Secret War, best-sellers translated around the world. He has two grown-up children, Charlotte and Harry, and lives with his wife Penny in West Berkshire, where they garden enthusiastically. 

Praise For…


"Hastings . . . highlights in this engrossing account just how close the U.S. and the Soviet Union came to nuclear war in October 1962. . . . Throughout, Hastings draws sharp personality profiles of John F. Kennedy, Nikita Khrushchev, Fidel Castro, and their top-level advisers, and expertly mines archival records to recreate the contemporaneous rationale for their decision-making, even when it looks foolish or reckless in hindsight. . . . This riveting history speaks clearly to the present moment." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“One of the greatest living historians tackles the Cuban missile crisis. . . . Hastings argues that Kennedy prevented a catastrophic conflict by deciding that [bombing strategic sites and invading] was a bad idea. Instead, he ordered a blockade and sent a warning to Khrushchev, who withdrew the missiles. The author’s painfully insightful conclusion credits Kennedy with brilliant statesmanship but adds that most successors would have chosen war. The definitive account of a brief yet frightening period in global history.
Kirkus Reviews

Hastings . . . masterfully places the Cuban Missile Crisis within the tensions and relations between the United States and the Soviet Union in their Cold War context. The tense and suspenseful atmosphere interweaving the negotiations and political developments . . . are palpable in this elegantly written account. The personalities of all major players . . . are all fully realized in this book. . . . Based on extensive archival research, including in the UK, this eminently readable account provides a nice, single volume overview of the Cuban Missile Crisis. — Library Journal

The Cuban Missile Crisis . . . easily could have escalated to nuclear war. . . . notable historian Hastings provides a narrative more coherent than would have been experienced by the principals, emphasizing how limited information could have led to disaster, such as when the USSR's Nikita Khrushchev proposed to base nuclear missiles in Cuba as his military assured could be done secretly and without provoking the U.S. . . . Replete with astute characterizations of participants in the crisis, Hastings' able account registers the peril humanity then faced and still faces in a world of competitive, nuclear-armed countries. — Booklist

Product Details
ISBN: 9780062980137
ISBN-10: 0062980130
Publisher: Harper
Publication Date: October 18th, 2022
Pages: 576
Language: English