Reading Lists

Belfer Center’s Top 10 Books on the Cuban Missile Crisis

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1. Allison, Graham T. and Philip Zelikow. Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis. 2nd edn. New York: Longman, 1999.

2. May, Ernest R. and Philip Zelikow, eds. The Kennedy Tapes: Inside the White House During the Cuban Missile Crisis. Cambridge & London: Belknap Press of the Harvard University Press, 1997.

3. Fursenko, Aleksandr and Timothy Naftali. One Hell of a Gamble: Khrushchev, Castro, and Kennedy, 1958-1964. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1997.

4. Kennedy, Robert F. Thirteen Days: A Memoir of the Cuban Missile Crisis. New York: W.W. Norton, 1969.

5. Bundy, McGeorge. Danger and Survival. New York: Random House, 1988.

6. Dobbs, Michael. One Minute to Midnight: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and Castro on the Brink of Nuclear War. New York: Alfred Knopf, 2008.

7. Coleman, David G. The Fourteenth Day: John F. Kennedy and the Aftermath of the Cuban Missile Crisis. New York & London: W.W. Norton & Company, 2012 (forthcoming).

8. Blight, James G. and David A. Welch. On the Brink: Americans and Soviets Reexamine the Cuban Missile Crisis. New York: Hill and Wang, 1989.

9. Blight, James G., Bruce J. Allyn, and David A. Welch. Cuba on the Brink: Castro, the Missile Crisis, and the Soviet Collapse. New York: Pantheon Books, 1993.

10. Larson, David L. The “Cuban Crisis” of 1962: Selected Documents and Chronology. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1986.

Belfer Center’s catalog of reading on nuclear danger today

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Please visit our Further Reading page to view the full catalog.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum – “The Cuban Missile Crisis, October 1962 : A Reading List (2002)”

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This reading list is composed of titles cataloged in the Kennedy Library’s printed materials collections. The Kennedy Library applies special local modifications to standard Library of Congress Subject Headings. This is so that researchers who use our archival holdings may focus more closely on titles that may contain important information about issues of the Kennedy administration. This list contains more than 225 titles indexed under the library’s Cuban Missile Crisis heading. It does not include undergraduate student papers, novels, or general biographies of President Kennedy and other participants.

Nearly all of these publications are based on research conducted in the Kennedy Library’s document collections, or on publications, microfilm collections, World Wide Web sites, and other institutions that contain copies or facsimiles of portions of Kennedy Library document holdings.