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Thirteen Days, - Book Report/Review Example

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As is clear from the title itself, the book describes the Cuban missile crisis that took place in the year 1962. It gives the account of the meetings by the Executive Committee, a team…
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Thirteen Days The book Thirteen Days: A Memoir of the Cuban Missile Crisis is written by Robert Kennedy. As is clear from the title itself, the book describes the Cuban missile crisis that took place in the year 1962. It gives the account of the meetings by the Executive Committee, a team handpicked by the US President Kennedy. The ExComm’s job was to use their skills to work out the delicate situation between the United States of America and the USSR after they discovered Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba. They had to solve the problem in a manner which would not spark of another world war. The author writes about the way the President handled the situation quite successfully despite the very problematic situation.
The ExComm held meetings to discuss the situation of the placing of the missiles in Cuba by the Russians to have some sort of an upper hand over the Americans. Some of the advisors suggested blockading the island as a whole till the threat of the missiles was under control, to use the navy instead of the military. Then there were the others, more impulsive ones who suggested taking military action against Cuba. It was up to the President to decide on which side to pick and he very intelligently decided to choose the former option. He realized that violence would never be the solution for anything, an attack would only lead to the Russians to respond back and the probability of the impending third world war would no longer remain a probability, but would turn into a fact.
During the period of thirteen days, a Soviet missile shot down a U-2. This could have led to Kennedy ordering an immediate reaction, most probably a violent one, and this retaliation would not be wrong. But the President kept his cool and decided to look into the negotiations.
President John F. Kennedy decided to follow another very well thought out advice. He gave orders for a letter to be sent as a reply to the then USSR leader in which he wrote his acceptance of the terms that were sent by Nikita S. Khrushchev a day earlier. He agreed to not attack Cuba if the Russians would remove their missiles from the island. It was a negotiation meant to keep the situation non-violent. However, the letter had no response to another of the terms which was sent a day after. It stated that the United States of America should remove their Jupiter missiles from Turkey. The agreement to the second term was not penned down on paper to have no written proof, but, rather, a spoken pledge was made, which said that the US agreed to withdraw the Jupiter missiles on the condition that that action must remain a secret. No one other than the two governments should know of it. Khrushchev accepted this, him pledging to keep mum on this and the settlement was made.
The Cuban Missile Crisis was a very hard period which the Americans experienced. It was highly due to President Kennedy’s focus on the problem in hand, willingness to listen to other peoples’ opinions and the art of knowing how to compromise that the third world war was stopped from actually taking place. Read More
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