Vendetta!: Fidel Castro and the Kennedy Brothers

Vendetta!: Fidel Castro and the Kennedy Brothers

by William B. Breuer
     
 

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Vendetta! Castro and the Kennedy Brothers 1960. As the Cold War reaches its height, so does postwar prosperity, and the American people celebrate their optimism by electing as president the young, charismatic John F. Kennedy. Just 90 miles from the United States, the Cuban people are celebrating the rise of Fidel Castro, their own young and charismatic populist leader… See more details below

Overview

Vendetta! Castro and the Kennedy Brothers 1960. As the Cold War reaches its height, so does postwar prosperity, and the American people celebrate their optimism by electing as president the young, charismatic John F. Kennedy. Just 90 miles from the United States, the Cuban people are celebrating the rise of Fidel Castro, their own young and charismatic populist leader who overthrew Batista’s oppressive regime. Around the world, a rising tide of Communism is absorbing one country after another. President Kennedy, vowing to keep Communism out of the Western Hemisphere, knows he must confront Castro. It will mean not only testing his own resolve, but maintaining a precarious balancing act. Kennedy cannot allow the United States to be seen as weak, yet he cannot be too aggressive and risk nuclear annihilation. How then to weaken Castro’s grip on Cuba—without forcing a showdown between the United States and the Soviet Union? With the aid of his attorney general, his younger brother Robert, the new president, in effect, declares a secret war against Fidel Castro, enlisting the CIA and Cuban refugees. During the next few years, the Kennedys and Castro engage in the most dangerous and covert duel of the Cold War, a fierce vendetta that will take the world to the brink of nuclear confrontation. 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 Guanáanamo 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 Guantánamo Bay, where American-backed forces stood outnumbered and surrounded by Cuban troops. Vendetta! is William B. Breuer at his very best—real-life espionage, political fact and folly, thrilling adventure, and intrigue.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
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
Kirkus Reviews
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)

From the Publisher
From Library Journal
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 him-and 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
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
  From Kirkus Reviews
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 Ral 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 the ultimate 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) — Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780470305294
Publisher:
Turner Publishing Company
Publication date:
04/21/2008
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
278
Sales rank:
796,195
File size:
2 MB

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