Politics of Illusion: The Bay of Pigs Invasion Reexamined / Edition 1

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The defeat of the attempted April 1961 invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs was one of the worst foreign-policy disasters in U.S. history. Since then, explanations of the event have emphasized betrayal by one U.S. agency or another, seeking to assign blame for the "loss" of Cuba. With the benefit of new documentation, however - from U.S. government and Cuban exile sources - as well as the first-hand accounts of key participants, Politics of Illusion shows the current mythology to be just that. Based on an innovative series of meetings that brought together former CIA officials, former anti-Castro Cuban operatives, a former high-ranking Soviet official, and others who were directly involved in the events - nearly all speaking on the record for the first time - this critical oral history demonstrates that all of the anti-Castro parties were guilty of illusions, to one degree or another. Blight and Kornbluh provide a thorough and perceptive context for the discussions held at the meetings, transcripts of the actual sessions, a selection of the main documents discussed by the participants, and a discussion of the implications of the participants' conclusions for current U.S.-Cuban relations.
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Editorial Reviews

Using a combination of the documentary record, specialists' theories, and the oral recollections of key players in the Bay of Pigs invasion from the Kennedy administration, the CIA, the anti-Castro brigades, and Moscow, the authors argue that the theories of betrayal as to who "lost" Cuba were based on various mistaken beliefs held by all of the members of the anti-Castro coalition. They argue that these illusions were based on a "John Wayne" foreign policy that is still evident today in such legislation as the Helms-Burton act. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781555878221
  • Publisher: Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/1/1998
  • Series: Studies in Cuban History
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 283
  • Lexile: 1090L (what's this?)

Table of Contents

Dramatis Personae
Prologue: "John Wayne's" Betrayals 1
1 The Anti-Castro Resistance Meets the CIA 9
2 The CIA Calls the Shots 35
3 Kennedy's Attempts to Topple Castro 59
4 Assassination and the Use of U.S. Military Force at the Bay of Pigs 83
5 Operation MONGOOSE and the Fate of the Resistance 107
6 Aftermath of the Bay of Pigs Invasion 133
Epilogue: "John Wayne's" Illusions 149
App. 1: Maps 155
App. 2: Abbreviations and Acronyms 157
App. 3 Chronology of U.S. Decisionmaking Regarding the Bay of Pigs Invasion and Operation MONGOOSE, January 1959-October 1962 159
App. 4 Chronology of Cuban Resistance, January 1959-July 1961 173
App. 5 Declassified Documents 185
Index 277
About the Book 284
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