By Lawrence Freedman
In his thousand-day presidency, John F. Kennedy led the USA via one in every of its such a lot tricky and very likely explosive eras. With the chilly warfare at its top and the specter of communist advances in Europe and the 3rd international, Kennedy had the unenviable job of preserving U.S. harmony with no prime the western international right into a nuclear disaster. In Kennedy's Wars, famous historian Lawrence Freedman attracts at the better of chilly struggle scholarship and newly published executive records to light up Kennedy's method of conflict and his efforts for peace. He recreates insightfully the political and highbrow milieu of the overseas coverage institution in the course of Kennedy's period with vibrant profiles of his most sensible advisors--Robert McNamara, Dean Rusk, Robert Kennedy--and influential figures resembling Dean Acheson and Walt Rostow. Tracing the evolution of conventional liberalism into the chilly warfare liberalism of Kennedy's cupboard, Freedman evaluates their responses to the tensions in Berlin, Cuba, Laos, and Vietnam. He offers each one clash person recognition, displaying how international coverage judgements got here to be outlined for every new difficulty within the mild of these that had long past prior to. Readers will stick with Kennedy as he wrestles with the succession of significant conflicts--taking recommendation, weighing the dangers of inadvertently escalating the chilly warfare into outright army war of words, exploring diplomatic thoughts, and forming strategic judgments that might ultimately hinder a tremendous battle in the course of his presidency. Kennedy's Wars deals a dynamic and human portrait of Kennedy stressed: a political chief formed through the tips of his time, aware of his vulnerability to electoral defeat but in addition of his nation's vulnerability to nuclear battle. army and Kennedy fans will locate its balanced attention of the president's overseas coverage and provocative "what if" situations important keys to realizing his accomplishments, disasters, and enduring legacy.
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Extra info for Kennedy's Wars: Berlin, Cuba, Laos, and Vietnam
While working in Europe in 1947–48 Schlesinger had seen the more manipulative and vicious features of Soviet practice, including attempts to destabilize the Western democracies. 2 The position taken by ADA was mirrored by democrats with more overt socialist sympathies in Western Europe. They soon felt vindicated, as it became apparent that accounts of Stalin’s purges, once dismissed as the crude exaggerations of right-wingers, were, in all essentials, correct. ’’3 Embarrassed by their former innocence, they often became its most forceful antagonists.
18 Though the nuclear danger appeared as the outstanding problem of the age, the authors of The Liberal Papers offered no easy solutions. 19 At the same time, coping with the nuclear danger for the indeﬁnite future also seemed a dismal prospect, and some claimed that statistically it just could not be done. Something was bound to go wrong. Theorists of stable deterrence were more conﬁdent. Rather than worry about arduous treaty negotiations, they believed the desired results could be achieved if both sides conﬁgured their forces prudently.
Nikita Khrushchev was an old-style communist of peasant stock who had learned the art of survival during the Stalin years. He faced few institutional checks and balances on his behavior, even as it became more erratic and impetuous. Kennedy was initially caught off guard by Khrushchev’s more tempestuous political style and continued to assume that the Soviet leader was tougher and in a stronger position than was in fact the case. FROM CANDIDATE TO PRESIDENT During the 1960 campaign Kennedy’s attacks on the Eisenhower administration followed orthodox lines.
Kennedy's Wars: Berlin, Cuba, Laos, and Vietnam by Lawrence Freedman