This essay has a total of 504 words and 3 pages.


The Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962 presents an integrated, comprehensive record of U.S.
decisionmaking during the most dangerous U.S.-Soviet confrontation in the nuclear era.
Some 3,400 unique records relevant to the crisis, totalling approximately 17,500 pages,
are reproduced in the microfiche. Much of the documentation focuses on U.S. decisionmaking
during what Robert Kennedy called the "Thirteen Days" of the missile crisis—from
McGeorge Bundy's October 16, 1962 briefing of President Kennedy on the discovery of Soviet
missiles in Cuba to Nikita Khrushchev's October 28 decision to withdraw the weapons. The
numerous intelligence reports, diplomatic cables, political analyses, military situation
reports, and meeting minutes included in the set portray both the deliberative process and
the execution of critical decisions made by the Kennedy administration during the crisis.

In order to place the missile crisis in its historical perspective, many of the documents
in the collection describe the events which formed the immediate backdrop to the crisis:
the United States' renewed attempts to overthrow Fidel Castro following the failed Bay of
Pigs invasion in April 1961; U.S. and Soviet nuclear capabilities and doctrine in the
early 1960s; the deployment of U.S. IRBMs to forward bases in Europe; and increasing
concern in the Kennedy administration over the resurgence of Soviet military aid to Cuba
in the summer of 1962. Documentation focussing on two significant events which defined
United States relations with Cuba and the Soviet Union in 1961—the Bay of Pigs invasion
and the Berlin crisis—have been excluded from the collection. First, a focus on the
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