JFK's Darkest Hour: The Cuban Missile Crisis

In October 1962 the world came very close to annihilation during the Cuban Missile Crisis. During the autumn of 1962, a U2 reconnaissance aircraft produced clear evidence that the Soviet Union and the Cuban authorities were building medium-range ballistic missile facilities on the island of Cuba and only around 100 miles from the coast of Florida. The resulting confrontation between the USA under JFK and the Soviet Union led by Nikita Khrushchev lasted just over a month and it's often considered to be the closest that the Cold War came to escalating to full-scale nuclear war. Serhii Plokhy, author of Nuclear Folly: A New History of the Cuban Missile Crisis, is Dan's guest on the podcast today. Serhii's research, using new archive material, has shown that during the crisis we came even closer than previously thought to the Cold War going hot.


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