A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK • “[A] riveting retrospective examination of the Cuban Missile Crisis” (The Washington Times), from one of the giants of American journalism, Pulitzer Prize winner Max Frankel
Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in History
In High Noon in the Cold War, Max Frankel captures the Cuban Missile Crisis in a new light, from inside the hearts and minds of the famous men who provoked and, in the nick of time, resolved the confrontation. Using his experiences covering Moscow and Havana and the Missile Crisis in Washington, the former executive editor of The New York Times has gathered evidence from recent records and new scholarship to correct widely held misconceptions about the game of “nuclear chicken” played by John F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev in October 1962, when Soviet missiles were secretly planted in Cuba and aimed at the United States.
High Noon in the Cold War gives balanced and nuanced portraits of Kennedy and Khrushchev, depicting both as more measured and deliberative in their actions than in many previous accounts. Here, too, are forgotten heroes like John McCone, the conservative Republican CIA head who played a key role in White House strategic debates. In detailing the disastrous miscalculations of the two superpowers and how Kennedy and Khrushchev beat back hotheads in their own councils, this fascinating book chronicles the whole story of the Cold War’s most frightening encounter.