Kennedys and Cuba: The Declassified Documentary History

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The abortive U.S. invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs in 1961 and the Cuban missile crisis the following year were two of the most important moments in American foreign policy in the twentieth century. They were also early hallmarks of the presidency of John F. Kennedy in which his brother Robert played key roles. The involvement of the Kennedys with Fidel Castro’s Cuba began in JFK’s earliest days in the White House and extended until well after the missile crisis, almost until the assassination in Dallas. In this intriguing collection of documents, drawn from the State Department, the Kennedy Library, private papers, and the Assassination Records Review Board, and including newly released materials, Mark White traces the attitudes and actions of the Kennedys in their fateful dealings with Castro and Cuba. In his selection and commentary, Mr. White has constructed a virtual narrative which allows the reader to see, through the documents, how the story developed. It becomes clear that the Kennedys’ fervent desire was to oust Castro by any means possible short of all-out war. Yet in JFK’s last days, as Mr. White reveals, the United States signaled some movement towards rapprochement. The Kennedys and Cuba is an important record of one of America’s thorniest and most persistent foreign policy problems.

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Editorial Reviews

Valuable...full of fascinating information.
Financial Times
Virginia Quarterly Review
An excellent invaluable resource...highly recommended.
Valuable...full of fascinating information.
Virginia Quarterly Review
An excellent invaluable resource...highly recommended.
Financial Times
White (American history, U. of London) assembles documents from the US State Department, the Kennedy Library, private papers, and the Assassination Records Review Board, including newly released materials. They relate to the missile crisis, Bay of Pigs, Operation Mongoose, and administrative policies during what turned out to be the final year of the Kennedy presidency. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781566634021
  • Publisher: Dee, Ivan R. Publisher
  • Publication date: 8/28/2001
  • Edition description: Revised Edition
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.04 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark J. White teaches American history at Eastern Illinois University. He is the author of Missiles in Cuba and other studies in American diplomatic history.

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Table of Contents

Leading Figures Mentioned in the Text
Abbreviations Used in the Text
Introduction 3
Pt. 1 The Bay of Pigs 13
Pt. 2 Operation Mongoose 71
Pt. 3 Before the Storm: Autumn 1962 133
Pt. 4 The Missile Crisis 169
Pt. 5 Loose Ends 249
Pt. 6 1963: Old Tactics, New Approaches 301
Index 345
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