1st Edition

An International History of the Cuban Missile Crisis A 50-year retrospective

Edited By David Gioe, Len Scott, Christopher Andrew Copyright 2014
    328 Pages
    by Routledge

    328 Pages
    by Routledge

    This edited volume addresses the main lessons and legacies of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis from a global perspective.

    Despite the discoveries of recent research, there is still much more to be revealed about the handling of nuclear weapons before and during the Cuban Missile Crisis (CMC). Featuring contributions from a number of eminent international scholars of nuclear history, intelligence, espionage, political science and Cold War studies, An International History of the Cuban Missile Crisis reviews and reflects on one of the critical moments of the Cold War, focussing on three key areas.

    First, the volume highlights the importance of memory as an essential foundation of historical understanding and demonstrates how events that rely only on historical records can provide misleading accounts. This focus on memory extends the scope of the existing literature by exploring hitherto neglected aspects of the CMC, including an analysis of the operational aspects of Bomber Command activity, explored through recollections of the aircrews that challenge accounts based on official records. The editors then go on to explore aspects of intelligence whose achievements and failings have increasingly been recognised to be of central importance to the origins, dynamics and outcomes of the missile crisis. Studies of hitherto neglected organisations such as the US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and the British Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) both extend our understanding of British and American intelligence machinery in this period and enrich our understanding of key episodes and assessments in the missile crisis. Finally, the book explores the risk of nuclear war and looks at how close we came to nuclear conflict.  The risk of inadvertent use of nuclear weapons is evaluated and a new proposed framework for the analysis of nuclear risk put forward.  

    This volume will be of much interest to students of intelligence studies, international history, foreign policy, security studies and IR in general.

    1. Introduction, Len Scott, David Gioe, and Christopher Andrew  2. ‘Remembering the Cuban Missile Crisis’, Christopher Andrew  3. ‘Intelligence and the Risk of Nuclear War', Len Scott  4. ‘The BBC Public Service and Private Worlds: How the Corporation Informed the Public, Related to Government and Understood the Cuban Missile Crisis’, Jean Seaton and Rosaleen Hughes  5. ‘Modifying ‘A Very Dangerous Message: Britain, the Non-Aligned, and the UN during the Cuban Missile Crisis’, Peter Catterall  6. ‘The Joint Intelligence Committee and the Cuban Missile Crisis’, Michael S. Goodman  7. ‘Trial By Fire: A New Perspective on Military Intelligence in the Cuban Missile Crisis’, Michael B. Petersen  8. ‘Handling HERO: Joint Anglo-American Tradecraft in the Case of Oleg Penkovsky’, David Gioe  9. ‘What Really Happened in R.A.F. Bomber Command during the Cuban Missile Crisis?’, Robin Woolven  10. ‘Leading from Behind: Anglo-American Diplomacy and Third Party Mediation during the Cuban Missile Crisis’, Toshihiko Aono  11. ‘The Australian Government and the Cuban Missile Crisis: An Antipodean Perspective’, Laura Stanley  12. ‘Italian Political Reactions to the Cuban Missile Crisis’, Leonardo Campus  13. ‘The Fourth Question: Why Did John F. Kennedy Offer Up the Jupiters in Turkey?’, Don Munton  14. Perception of the Cuban Missile Crisis in Russia Today, Neil Kent and Yan Naumkin


    David Gioe is a PhD candidate at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and previously spent a decade working in the US intelligence community.

    Len Scott is Professor of International History and Intelligence Studies at Aberystwyth University.

    Christopher Andrew is Emeritus Professor of Modern and Contemporary History at the University of Cambridge and a former visiting Professor of National Strategy and the Harvard University.