Now, in this powerful, eye-opening new book, William B. Breuer reveals the startling truth behind the Cuban crisis of the early 1960s. From the Bay of Pigs to Guantanamo Bay and the October '62 missile crisis, Breuer exposes how John and Robert Kennedy worked together to expand the clandestine, sometimes illegal activities to eliminate Castro. Vendetta! is a riveting account of recent history, complete with spies, saboteurs, guerrillas, murder plots, and kidnappings, told in the hard-hitting, dramatic style that ...
Now, in this powerful, eye-opening new book, William B. Breuer reveals the startling truth behind the Cuban crisis of the early 1960s. From the Bay of Pigs to Guantanamo Bay and the October '62 missile crisis, Breuer exposes how John and Robert Kennedy worked together to expand the clandestine, sometimes illegal activities to eliminate Castro. Vendetta! is a riveting account of recent history, complete with spies, saboteurs, guerrillas, murder plots, and kidnappings, told in the hard-hitting, dramatic style that has won the author critical acclaim as a chronicler of military intrigue. Based on new firsthand interviews with many of the people who directed and participated in the Kennedys' secret war, Vendetta! includes candid recollections from a host of government officials who are talking about these events for the first time, among them, W. Raymond Wannall, former assistant director of the FBI, and Theodore Shackley, the CIA official who directed the covert actions from Miami. As this fascinating chapter of modern day intrigue unfolds, we are swept into the middle of the action, from tense conferences in the Oval Office to terrifying encounters at Guantanamo Bay, where American-backed forces stood outnumbered and surrounded by Cuban troops.
Breuer (Unexplained Mysteries of World War II, LJ 6/15/97) is a military historian who specializes in books primarily on World War II. With this he has moved his investigations forward in time and geographically into what is foreign territory for himand it shows. For the most part his newest book skims along the surface of what we already know about Castro and the Kennedy boys. Breuer's research base, for the most part, is thin, with only a smattering of archival sources, some interviews, and a bare minimum of secondary works acknowledged. The writing is choppy and uneven, brightened only now and then by moments of clarity. The best thing about this work is that it is short. For a more informative approach, readers should start with Aleksandr Fursenko and Timothy Naftali's "One Hell of a Gamble": Khrushchev, Castro, and Kennedy, 1958-1964 (LJ 7/97), which is better researched and explores many of the same themes. For larger collections.Edward Goedeken, Iowa State Univ. Lib., Ames
A specialist in highlighting the drama in espionage and war, Breuer (Shadow Warriors, 1996, etc.) chronicles the escalating clash between President John F. Kennedy and Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro. Breuer's account takes a strong anti-Castro view on the disintegration of relations between the US and Cuba. Yet Breuer is far from pro-Kennedy, demonstrating the similarities between the two leaders, especially their heavy reliance on brothers of parallel temperamentthe humorless and ruthless Bobby Kennedy and Ra£l Castro. Before Castro had completed his first year in charge of Cuba, President Dwight Eisenhower had ordered the CIA to eliminate him and his revolutionary government. In the early days of his presidential campaign, Kennedy criticized Eisenhower's assessment of the Cuban regime. Only after Kennedy learned of secret plans to invade Cuba did he begin to criticize Castro publicly, due to fears that such a dramatic military move would give the incumbent Republican administration an advantage at the polls. Kennedy shrewdly beat Richard Nixon to the punch during a televised debate, calling for American support of Cuban freedom fighters, while Nixon was unable to speak on the issue for fear that he would reveal the Eisenhower administration's support of the planned invasion. Within weeks of taking office, Kennedy was deeply involved in planning the Bay of Pigs invasion. When it failed both of its objectivesto overthrow the Castro government and maintain the myth that the invasion was inspired, planned, and manned solely by Cuban political refugeesCastro became the number one target of the "Fighting Irish" duo in the White House. Tensions mounted and then exploded as theultimate Cold War drama unfolded: the Cuban missile crisis. Relying on American sources, including government documents and interviews with former spooks, Breuer adds some interesting tidbits to this often rehashed period of the Cold War. (17 photos, not seen)
WILLIAM B. BREUER, one of today's most popular military historians, is the critically acclaimed author of twenty-six books, including Feuding Allies, Shadow Warriors: The Covert War in Korea, and Unexplained Mysteries of World War II (all published by Wiley). Ten of his books were main selections of the Military Book Club, including The Great Raid on Cabanatuan and MacArthur's Undercover War.