History 140, Section 007 Fall 2009 Discussion #2 (September 16) Reading: Robert F. Kennedy, Thirteen Days: A Memoir of the Cuban Missile Crisis (1999 edition, originally published in 1969), pp. 19-98. Also on Blackboard read Cuban Missile Crisis Ia [excerpt from Gary Wills, The Kennedy Imprisonment: A Meditation on Power (1982)] and Cuban Missile Crisis Ib [excerpts from Paul Johnson, Modern Times: A History of the World from the 1920s to the Present (1983)]. Many historians consider the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962 to have been the peak of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union, a period of two weeks when the danger of direct war between the two superpowers seemed most real. RFK’s Thirteen Days , which appeared seven years after the crisis, was one of the first major “insider” accounts from the American side. As the attorney general of the United States in 1962, “Bobby” Kennedy fully participated in discussions of President John F. Kennedy’s advisers about how to handle the crisis.
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