Turning Points

The Cuban Missile Crisis may have been one of the most terrifying thirteen days in human history. “Above and Beyond” by Casey Sherman and Michael J. Tougias adds a personal element to the story by emphasizing the role of the spy plane pilots who discovered the missile sites and monitored Soviet moves. Their deeds are juxtaposed with Kennedy’s strategizing to tell an “an adventure yarn worthy of a great spy novelist” –but one far consequential.  Note that Garry Wills “The Kennedy Imprisonment” has a less flattering take on the late president’s missile diplomacy.   Meanwhile, “Three days in Moscow” by Brent Baier credits the president for turning “the evil empire” onto a path of democracy. The three days were the lead up to an address delivered at Moscow State University, where Reagan spoke hopefully of making friends of old antagonists.    Although an arms reduction pact had already been reached), the talk publicly signaled the change in relations. Reagan’s diplomatic initiative was continued by his successor, George Bush.

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