Crisis Years: Kennedy and Khrushchev, 1960-1963

Crisis Years: Kennedy and Khrushchev, 1960-1963

by Michael Beschloss

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
During the years 1960-1963, the world came closer than at any time before or since to nuclear incineration. It was during this period too that the United States and the Soviet Union launched the greatest arms race in history. Beschloss here examines the tense, dynamic and very dangerous relationship between the superpower leaders, John Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev, focusing largely on the 1961 summit conference regarding Berlin and the Cuban missile crisis of the following year. Drawing on newly declassified U.S. government sources and oral and written reminiscences by Soviet figures recently made available to Western scholars, Beschloss ( Mayday ) expands our knowledge and understanding of Soviet decision-making with material about Kremlin discussions during the Cuban crisis, behind-the-scenes maneuvers of Leonid Brezhnev, the Soviet reaction to the Kennedy assassination and Khrushchev's fall from power in '64. An exciting and informative narrative that will appeal to a wide readership. Photos. 75,000 first printing; $100,000 ad/promo; BOMC alternate; author tour. (June)
Library Journal - Library Journal
In the early 1960s, competition between the United States and the USSR produced resounding clashes over the future of Berlin and the appearance of Soviet missles in Cuba. These confrontations brought on a more intense Cold War, a vigorous new arms race, and the world's closest approach to nuclear holocaust. Benefiting from newly available primary sources, Beschloss has given us an enthralling, popularly written, and thoroughly documented chronicle of the times. The author of Mayday: Eisenhower, Khrushchev, and the U-2 Affair ( LJ 5/15/86) presents well-drawn portraits of major actors from heads of state to KGB agents and even verbatim transcripts of planning sessions within his detailed, chronological account of events. Beschloss infuses his work with penetrating analysis, a compelling sense of drama, and insightful reevaluation of President Kennedy's performance. Highly recommended for academic, public, and high school libraries. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 2/1/91; BOMC selection.--James R. Kuhlman, Univ. of Georgia Lib., Athens
Michael Krepon
When Mr. Beschloss reaches for controversy, he weakens an otherwise commendable book. This lengthy book contains some errors, primarily in the arcane areas of nuclear weapons and arms control. More problematic is Mr. Beschloss's occasional tendency to offer and dwell on controversial hypotheses where evidence is thin....Such efforts are unnecessary, as there is no need to spice up the story of two fascinating leaders who were bound together in the crises they helped to create. -- New York Times

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HarperCollins Publishers
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