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By Robert F. Kennedy

"A minor vintage in its laconic, spare, compelling evocation via a player of the moving moods and maneuvers of the main harmful second in human history."―Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.

During the 13 days in October 1962 while the us faced the Soviet Union over its set up of missiles in Cuba, few humans shared the behind-the-scenes tale because it is advised the following by way of the overdue Senator Robert F. Kennedy. during this specific account, he describes all the individuals throughout the occasionally hour-to-hour negotiations, with specific consciousness to the activities and perspectives of his brother, President John F. Kennedy. In a brand new foreword, the celebrated historian and Kennedy adviser Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., discusses the book's enduring significance and the importance of recent information regarding the obstacle that has come to gentle, specially from the Soviet Union. 


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Records tackle through PRESIDENT KENNEDY OCTOBER 22, 1962 strong night, my fellow voters. This executive, as promised, has maintained the nearest surveillance of the Soviet army build-up at the island of Cuba. in the prior week unmistakable proof has demonstrated the truth that a sequence of offensive missile websites is now in guidance on that imprisoned island. the needs of those bases might be none except to supply a nuclear strike strength opposed to the Western Hemisphere. Upon receiving the 1st initial demanding details of this nature final Tuesday morning (October sixteen) at 9:00 A. M. , I directed that our surveillance be stepped up. And having now proven and accomplished our assessment of the facts and our choice on a plan of action, this govt feels obliged to record this new challenge to you in fullest aspect. The features of those new missile websites point out precise varieties of installations. numerous of them comprise medium-range ballistic missiles able to sporting a nuclear warhead for a distance of greater than 1,000 nautical miles. every one of those missiles, briefly, is in a position to remarkable Washington, D. C. , the Panama Canal, Cape Canaveral, Mexico urban, or the other urban within the southeastern a part of the U.S., in valuable the US, or within the Caribbean quarter. extra websites now not but accomplished seem to be designed for intermediate-range ballistic missiles in a position to touring greater than two times as far—and therefore in a position to awesome many of the significant towns within the Western Hemisphere, ranging as a ways north as Hudson Bay, Canada, and as some distance south as Lima, Peru. additionally, jet bombers, able to sporting nuclear guns, are actually being uncrated and assembled in Cuba, whereas the required air bases are being ready. This pressing transformation of Cuba into a huge strategic base—by the presence of those huge, long-range, and obviously offensive guns of unexpected mass destruction—constitutes an specific chance to the peace and safety of all of the Americas, in flagrant and planned defiance of the Rio pact of 1947, the traditions of this kingdom and Hemisphere, the Joint solution of the 87th Congress, the constitution of the United countries, and my very own public warnings to the Soviet on September four and thirteen. This motion additionally contradicts the repeated assurances of Soviet spokesmen, either publicly and privately added, that the palms build-up in Cuba may hold its unique protective personality and that the Soviet Union had little need or wish to station strategic missiles at the territory of the other state. the scale of this venture makes transparent that it's been deliberate for a few months. but simply final month, after I had made transparent the excellence among any creation of ground-to-ground missiles and the life of protective antiaircraft missiles, the Soviet govt publicly acknowledged on September eleven that, and that i quote, “The armaments and armed forces apparatus despatched to Cuba are designed solely for protective purposes,” and, and that i quote the Soviet executive, “There isn't any desire for the Soviet govt to shift its guns for a retaliatory blow to the other state, for example Cuba,” and that, and that i quote the govt, “The Soviet Union has so robust rockets to hold those nuclear warheads that there's no use to look for websites for them past the bounds of the Soviet Union.

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