Description : This volume brings together a collection of leading international experts to revisit and review our understanding of the Cuban Missile Crisis, via a critical reappraisal of some of the key texts. In October 1962, humankind came close to the end of its history. The risk of catastrophe is now recognised by many to have been greater than realised by protagonists at the time or scholars subsequently. The Cuban missile crisis remains one of the mostly intensely studied moments of world history. Understanding is framed and informed by Cold War historiography, political science and personal experience, written by scholars, journalists, and surviving officials. The emergence of Soviet (later Russian) and other national narratives has broadened the scope of enquiry, while scrutiny of the operational, especially military, dimensions has challenged assumptions about the risk of nuclear war. The Cuban Missile Crisis: A Critical Reappraisal brings together world leading scholars from America, Britain, France, Canada, and Russia to present critical scrutiny of authoritative accounts and to recast assumptions and interpretations. The book aims to provide an essential guide for students of the missile crisis, the diplomacy of the Cold War, and the dynamics of historical interpretation and reinterpretation. Offering original ideas and agendas, the contributors seek to provide a new understanding of the secrets and mysteries of the moment when the world went to the brink of Armageddon. This book will be of great interest to students of the Cuban missile crisis, Cold War Studies, nuclear proliferation, international history and International Relations in general.
Description : Ever since Thucydides pondered reasons for the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War, writers, philosophers, and social scientists have tried to identify factors that promote conflict escalation: for example, history (tomorrow's wars are often rooted in yesterday's conflicts), changing balance of power among nations, or domestic political forces. In the end, however, these "causes" are constructed by human beings and involve the memories, emotions, and motives of both the leaders and the led. In July 1914, the long-standing peace of Europe was shattered when the Sarajevo assassinations quickly escalated to World War I. In contrast, at the height of the Cold War, the Cuban Missile Crisis could have easily plunged the world into a thermonuclear world war, but was ultimately peacefully resolved. Why the different outcomes? In Roots of War: Wanting Power, Seeing Threat, Justifying Force, David G. Winter identifies three psychological factors that contributed to the differences in these historical outcomes: the desire for power, exaggerated perception of the opponent's threat, and justification for using military force. Several lines of research establish how these factors lead to escalation and war: comparative archival studies of "war" and "peace" crises, laboratory experiments on threat perception, and surveys of factors leading people to believe that a particular war is "just." The research findings in Roots of War also demonstrate the importance of power in preserving peace through diplomatic interventions, past and present.