Cuban Missile Crisis

T - Z

Thompson, Robert Smith. The Missiles of October: The Declassified Story of John F. Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Old Tappan, NJ: Simon & Schuster, 1992.

Surveillant 2.6: It is "not often" that "non-fiction books begin with several errors in the very first sentence of the Prologue. But this work has them.... The list of errors goes on and on.... The wisest guidance is caveat emptor." For Treverton, FA 71.5 (Sep.-Oct. 1992), this "steamy stew" delivers "less new ... than advertised." In the end, the author produces "a scatter-shot of conclusions." Garthoff, I&NS 13.3/63/fn. 106, notes that "Thompson inconsistently contends that the CIA and Kennedy knew about the missiles [in Cuba] as early as March 1962 (pp. 212-13), while acknowledging elsewhere that the Soviets decided to send missiles only in April-June (pp. 144-45 and 150)."

Thyraud de Vosjoli, Philippe L. Lamia. Boston: Little, Brown, 1970.

According to Pforzheimer, these are the memoirs of a French intelligence officer who served in the French Resistance in World War II and who was SDECE liaison in Washington at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Leon Uris fictionalized part of this story in his novel Topaz. Constantinides sees the author's intelligence activities relating to Cuba as of "strategic consequence and historical significance," but also notes that there has been no confirmation that his intelligence played an important role in the 1962 Cuban missile crisis.

Trachtenberg, Marc.

1. "Commentary: New Light on the Cuban Missile Crisis?" Diplomatic History 14, no. 2 (1990): 241-247.

2. "The Influence of Nuclear Weapons in the Cuban Missile Crisis." International Security 10, no. 1 (1985): 137-163.

3. "White House Tapes and Minutes of the Cuban Missile Crisis: ExCom Meetings of October 1962." International Security 10, no. 1 (Summer 1985): 164-203.

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. Symposium on Intelligence and the Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962, Held in McLean, VA, on October 19, 1992. Videotape. Washington, DC: 1994.

Surveillant 3.6 describes this as a 40-minute video of a panel discussion among members of Intelligence Community during the Kennedy Administration.

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. Ed., Mary S. McAuliffe. CIA Documents on the Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962. Washington, DC: Central Intelligence Agency, 1992. [Available at:]

Clark comment: This compilation of documents comes from the declassification process managed by the CIA's Historical Review Group. According to Surveillant 3.1, the editor/compiler, Dr. Mary S. McAuliffe, "recently completed an internal study of John A. McCone's tenure as DCI [not yet available to the public], and is the author of Crisis on the Left: Cold War Politics and American Liberals, 1947-1954" (Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts, 1978).

FILS 11.6 says this collection is "unique and provides ... invaluable information." For Lowenthal, the documents give "a good feel for the role played by intelligence in this crisis and [how] senior policy and intelligence officials interacted." Additional documents on the 1962 crisis have been published in Chang and Kornbluh, eds., The Cuban Missile Crisis (1992).

U.S. Department of State. Office of the Historian. Gen. ed., David S. Patterson. Foreign Relations of the United States, 1961-1963.

Vol. XI. Eds., Edward C. Keefer, Charles S. Sampson, and Louis J. Smith. Cuban Missile Crisis and Aftermath. Washington, DC: GPO, 1996. [Available at:]

Usowski, Peter S. "John McCone and the Cuban Missile Crisis: A Persistent Approach to the Intelligence-Policy Relationship." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 2, no. 4 (Winter 1988): 547-576.

Garthoff, IJI&C 4.1, says this article is "well researched, well considered, and well written; it is a useful contribution to a too-little examined aspect of the missile crisis, as well as to the literature on the relationship between intelligence and policymaking."

Utz, Curtis A. Cordon of Steel: The U.S. Navy and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Washington, DC: Naval Historical Center, Department of the Navy, 1993.

Surveillant 4.4/5: This is a brief (48 pages) look at the Navy's role in the Cuban Missile Crisis, using Navy records.

Walker, Martin. The Cold War: A History. New York: Henry Holt, 1994. [New York]: Owl Books, [1995]. [pb]

Fukuyama, FA 73.5 (Sep.-Oct. 1994), calls this book, written by The Guardian's U.S. bureau chief, a "solid and straightforward account." It covers through "the attempted Moscow coup in 1991," and the "later chapters on the post-Brezhnev years tend to be more interesting." Walker "by and large does not break new ground in terms of sources or interpretations." This will be "useful as an overview in college courses."

Surveillant 4.1 notes that the book includes chapters on "Spies in the Sky: Sputnik to U-2" and on the "Cuban Missile Crisis." The latter is "a good survey of the event." Overall, this is a "highly readable though general account of this recent period of history." Cowley, MHQ Review, Spring 1997, prefers the paperback version of this "good and relatively brief history," because "its new 'Afterword' tones down the concluding gloom of the original."

Welch, David A. "Intelligence Assessment in the Cuban Missile Crisis." Queen's Quarterly 100, no. 2 (Summer 1993): 421-437.

Welch, David A., and James G. Blight. "The Eleventh Hour of the Cuban Missile Crisis: An Introduction to the ExComm Transcripts." International Security 12, no. 3 (Winter 1987-1988): 5-29.

Welch, David A., James G. Blight, and Bruce J. Allyn. "Essence of Revision: Moscow, Havana, and the Cuban Missile Crisis." In The Use of Force: Military Power and International Politics, ed. Robert J. Art and Kenneth N. Waltz, 4th ed., 234-261. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1993.

White, M.J. The Cuban Missile Crisis. London: Macmillan, 1996.

Scott, I&NS 12.2, finds White's work to be both "highly readable" and "scholarly." The author covers the events of October 1962 "by examining the role of six individuals: John and Robert Kennedy, Nikita Khrushchev, Adlai Stevenson, Dean Acheson, and Kenneth Keating.... The use of these figures as a prism to view broader themes and issues is generally successful and underlines the importance of specific decisions by Khrushchev and Kennedy in creating and resolving the crisis."

Wirtz, James J. "Organizing for Crisis Intelligence: Lessons from the Cuban Missile Crisis." Intelligence and National Security 13, no. 3 (Autumn 1998): 120-149.

"[T]he virtual absence of any intelligence contribution to the Soviet and Cuban policymaking process leading up to the crisis is astounding.... [DCI John] McCone's willingness to stand above the political and bureaucratic fray ... contributed greatly to the American intelligence success during the Cuban missile crisis.... [For the Americans,] only a rigorous and sustained analytical effort produced timely warning of Soviet missile deployments."

Wohlstetter, Roberta. Cuba and Pearl Harbor: Hindsight and Foresight. Santa Monica, CA: Rand, 1965.

Clark comment: This work takes Wohlstetter's "signals" vs. "noise" analysis, developed initially in relation to the Pearl Harbor disaster, and applies it to the Cuban Missile Crisis. Constantinides notes that the study is based on open sources, a circumstance that may limit its usefulness. See also, Wohlstetter's article, "Cuba and Pearl Harbor: Hindsight and Foresight," Foreign Affairs 43 (Jul. 1965), 691-707.

Zaloga, Steven J. "The Missiles of October: Soviet Ballistic Missile Forces during the Cuban Crisis." Journal of Soviet Military Studies 3, no. 2 (Jun. 1990): 307-323.

Calder notes that this article includes an "[e]xtensive discussion of US intelligence efforts to collect advanced information on missiles in Cuba."

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