20 Th Century

Get Awaiting Armageddon: How Americans Faced the Cuban Missile PDF

By Alice L. George

ISBN-10: 0807828289

ISBN-13: 9780807828281

For 13 days in October 1962, the United States stood on the breaking point of nuclear conflict. Nikita Khrushchev's selection to put nuclear missiles in Cuba and John F. Kennedy's defiant reaction brought the potential of unheard of cataclysm. The speedy risk of destruction entered America's study rooms and its residing rooms. waiting for Armageddon presents the 1st in-depth examine this challenge because it simmered open air of presidency places of work, the place usual americans learned their executive used to be unprepared to guard itself or its voters from the risks of nuclear war.
During the seven days among Kennedy's statement of a naval blockade and Khrushchev's selection to withdraw Soviet nuclear missiles from Cuba, U.S. voters absorbed the nightmare state of affairs unfolding on their tv units. An expected ten million american citizens fled their houses; hundreds of thousands extra ready shelters at domestic, clearing the cabinets of supermarkets and gun shops. Alice George captures the irrationality of the instant as american citizens coped with dread and resignation, humor and pathos, terror and ignorance.

In her exam of the general public reaction to the missile predicament, the writer unearths cracks within the veneer of yank self belief within the early years of the gap age and demonstrates how the fears generated by means of chilly warfare tradition blinded many americans to the hazards of nuclear struggle till it was once nearly too overdue.

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My mother said, ‘We’re leaving in about five minutes. Go up to your room and take anything you can carry,’’ 44 recalled one woman, who was eight years old in 1962. Though the order to evacuate was sudden, it was not entirely unexpected: wives had orders to keep a suitcase packed at all times. When the word came, many rushed from their homes without time to finish household chores or tell their husbands goodbye. Base officials distributed handouts to all dependents. ’’ The navy urged wives to be calm, and indicating a lack of faith in the wives’ ability to follow instructions, the handout closed this way: ‘‘God Bless you.

Spy novels, whose audience included Kennedy, also shaped Cold War expectations. Kennedy repeated a rumor of a Communist plot to journalist Hugh Sidey: Soviet envoys, Kennedy said, reportedly had smuggled parts of an atomic bomb in diplomatic pouches and assembled the weapon in their Washington embassy. 31 Strangely, while each side perceived dramatic differences with the other, Cold War dueling employed similarly overdrawn rhetoric on both sides of the ideological divide. When jfk revealed the missiles in Cuba, he said, ‘‘The path we have chosen for the present is full of hazards .

41 Scientists said a single one-megaton bomb detonated at satellite altitude could incinerate six 26 t h e s h a d o w o f d e a t h Image Not Available In what could be a scene of children at play, members of the John C. Leger family of Bronxville, New York, crouch in an escape tunnel and prepare for war. The family had an elaborate bomb shelter as early as 1952, before introduction of the hydrogen bomb heightened the potential for destruction in a nuclear war. © Bettmann/CORBIS. western states in the United States,42 and that one ten-megaton bomb could send searing heat over 5,000 square miles, an area about the size of Connecticut.

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Awaiting Armageddon: How Americans Faced the Cuban Missile Crisis by Alice L. George

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