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Publishers WeeklyAs John F. Kennedy greeted guests at a White House reception for members of Congress, 1,400 Cuban exile-fighters waited in vain for a round of American air strikes to help launch an invasion to topple Fidel Castro, Cuba's communist leader. Journalist Rasenberger marks the fiftieth anniversary of the ill-fated Bay of Pigs invasion attempt with a gripping narrative about the genesis of the doomed covert action. With new documents at his disposal, including a declassified CIA inspector general's report, Rasenberger upends the "conventional wisdom" that a naïve young president was misled by an overconfident CIA. The CIA operatives and JFK come in for equal measures of blame: the CIA for failing to strongly oppose JFK's refusal to give the go-ahead for the air strikes that the agency believed were integral to giving the fighters any hope of success on the ground, and Kennedy for failing to stop the operation given his growing misgivings about the plan. Rasenberger provides interesting details about the aftermath, including the Christmas-time release of the captured fighters several years later, his attorney father's role in that episode, and sums up how the Bay of Pigs continued to reverberate from the Cuban Missile Crisis to Watergate.
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