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Berlin 1961: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and the Most Dangerous Place on Earth

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Berlin 1961: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and the Most Dangerous Place on Earth Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In June 1961, Nikita Khrushchev called Berlin "the most dangerous place on earth." He knew what he was talking about.

Much has been written about the Cuban Missile Crisis a year later, but the Berlin Crisis of 1961 was more decisive in shaping the Cold War-and more perilous. It was in that hot summer that the Berlin Wall was constructed, which would divide the world for another twenty-eight years. Then two months later, and for the first time in history, American and Soviet fighting men and tanks stood arrayed against each other, only yards apart. One mistake, one nervous soldier, one overzealous commander-and the tripwire would be sprung for a war that could go nuclear in a heartbeat.

On one side was a young, untested U.S. president still reeling from the Bay of Pigs disaster and a humiliating summit meeting that left him grasping for ways to respond. It would add up to be one of the worst first-year foreign policy performances of any modern president. On the other side, a Soviet premier hemmed in by the Chinese, East Germans, and hardliners in his own government. With an all-important Party Congress approaching, he knew Berlin meant the difference not only for the Kremlin's hold on its empire-but for his own hold on the Kremlin.

Neither man really understood the other, both tried cynically to manipulate events. And so, week by week, they crept closer to the brink.

Based on a wealth of new documents and interviews, filled with fresh-sometimes startling-insights, written with immediacy and drama, Berlin 1961 is an extraordinary look at key events of the twentieth century, with powerful applications to these early years of the twenty-first.

Includes photographs

Synopsis:

A fresh, controversial, brilliantly written account of one of the epic dramas of the Cold War-and its lessons for today.

History at its best. -Zbigniew Brzezinski

Gripping, well researched, and thought-provoking, with many lessons for today. -Henry Kissinger

Captures the drama with] the 'You are there' storytelling skills of a journalist and the analytical skills of the political scientist. - General Brent Scowcroft

In June 1961, Nikita Khrushchev called it the most dangerous place on earth. He knew what he was talking about.

Much has been written about the Cuban Missile Crisis a year later, but the Berlin Crisis of 1961 was more decisive in shaping the Cold War-and more perilous. For the first time in history, American and Soviet fighting men and tanks stood arrayed against each other, only yards apart. One mistake, one overzealous commander-and the trip wire would be sprung for a war that would go nuclear in a heartbeat. On one side was a young, untested U.S. president still reeling from the Bay of Pigs disaster. On the other, a Soviet premier hemmed in by the Chinese, the East Germans, and hard-liners in his own government. Neither really understood the other, both tried cynically to manipulate events. And so, week by week, the dangers grew.

Based on a wealth of new documents and interviews, filled with fresh- sometimes startling-insights, written with immediacy and drama, Berlin 1961 is a masterly look at key events of the twentieth century, with powerful applications to these early years of the twenty- first.

About the Author

Frederick Kempe is president and CEO of the Atlantic Council. He previously spent more than twenty-five years as a reporter, columnist, and editor for The Wall Street Journal, where, among other roles, he served as chief diplomatic correspondent, Berlin bureau chief, and editor and associate publisher of the Journal's Europe edition. His previous three books are Divorcing the Dictator: America's Bungled Affair with Noriega; Siberian Odyssey: A Voyage into the Russian Soul; and Father/Land: A Personal Search for the New Germany. He lives in Washington, D.C.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780425245941
Author:
Kempe, Frederick
Publisher:
Berkley Publishing Group
Subject:
Modern - 20th Century
Subject:
US History - 20th Century
Subject:
World History-Germany
Edition Description:
Mass Market
Publication Date:
20120131
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
2 16-page photo insert
Pages:
608
Dimensions:
9.02 x 6.08 x 1.16 in 1.31 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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Berlin 1961: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and the Most Dangerous Place on Earth Used Trade Paper
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Product details 608 pages Berkley Publishing Group - English 9780425245941 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , A fresh, controversial, brilliantly written account of one of the epic dramas of the Cold War-and its lessons for today.

History at its best. -Zbigniew Brzezinski

Gripping, well researched, and thought-provoking, with many lessons for today. -Henry Kissinger

Captures the drama with] the 'You are there' storytelling skills of a journalist and the analytical skills of the political scientist. - General Brent Scowcroft

In June 1961, Nikita Khrushchev called it the most dangerous place on earth. He knew what he was talking about.

Much has been written about the Cuban Missile Crisis a year later, but the Berlin Crisis of 1961 was more decisive in shaping the Cold War-and more perilous. For the first time in history, American and Soviet fighting men and tanks stood arrayed against each other, only yards apart. One mistake, one overzealous commander-and the trip wire would be sprung for a war that would go nuclear in a heartbeat. On one side was a young, untested U.S. president still reeling from the Bay of Pigs disaster. On the other, a Soviet premier hemmed in by the Chinese, the East Germans, and hard-liners in his own government. Neither really understood the other, both tried cynically to manipulate events. And so, week by week, the dangers grew.

Based on a wealth of new documents and interviews, filled with fresh- sometimes startling-insights, written with immediacy and drama, Berlin 1961 is a masterly look at key events of the twentieth century, with powerful applications to these early years of the twenty- first.

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