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In October 1962 school children huddled under their desks and diplomats feverishly negotiated as the world sat on the brink of nuclear war. The Cuban Missile Crisis was the most dangerous moment in modern history and resulted in a changed worldview for the United States, the Soviet Union, and Cuba.
In tracing the developments of the missile crisis and beyond, Sad and Luminous Days presents and interprets a heretofore unavailable (and largely unknown) secret speech that Castro delivered to the Cuban leadership in 1968. In it, Castro reflects on the crisis and reveals the distrust and bitterness that characterized Cuban-Soviet relations in 1968. Blight and Brenner frame the annotated speech with an examination of the missile crisis itself, and an analysis of Cuban-Soviet relations between 1962–1968, ending with an epilogue that highlights the lessons the missile crisis offers us in the current search for security and a stable world order.
Sad and Luminous Days sheds new light on Cuban-Soviet relations and should be required reading not only for Cold-War scholars and historians, but also for anyone intrigued by the drama of the thirteen momentous days in October 1962.
Prologue: The Discovery and Meaning of Fidel Castro's Secret Speech
Chapter 1: The October Crisis
Chapter 2: Fidel Castro's Secret Speech
Chapter 3: October/November 1962: The Shadow of the Missile Crisis Descends on Havanna and Moscow
Chapter 4: June 1967–August 1968: From the Shadow of the Missile Crisis to the Shadow of the Future
Epilogue: Cuba's Struggle with the United States after the Missile Crisis: The Case for Realistic Empathy
Appendix A: Chronology of Events: 1963–1968
Appendix B: Text of Letter Dated 15 November from Prime Minister Fidel Castro of Cuba to Acting Secretary General U Thant
Appendix C: Speech Given By Major Fidel Castro Ruz, Prime Minister of the Revolutionary Government and First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba, Analyzing the Events in Czechoslovakia Friday, August 23, 1968—Year of the Hero