One Minute to Midnight

One Minute to Midnight

Kennedy, Khrushchev, and Castro on the Brink of Nuclear War

Book - 2008
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Random House, Inc.
In October 1962, at the height of the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union appeared to be sliding inexorably toward a nuclear conflict over the placement of missiles in Cuba. Veteran Washington Post reporter Michael Dobbs has pored over previously untapped American, Soviet, and Cuban sources to produce the most authoritative book yet on the Cuban missile crisis. In his hour-by-hour chronicle of those near-fatal days, Dobbs reveals some startling new incidents that illustrate how close we came to Armageddon.

Here, for the first time, are gripping accounts of Khrushchev’s plan to destroy the U.S. naval base at Guantánamo; the accidental overflight of the Soviet Union by an American spy plane; the movement of Soviet nuclear warheads around Cuba during the tensest days of the crisis; the activities of CIA agents inside Cuba; and the crash landing of an American F-106 jet with a live nuclear weapon on board.

Dobbs takes us inside the White House and the Kremlin as Kennedy and Khrushchev—rational, intelligent men separated by an ocean of ideological suspicion—agonize over the possibility of war. He shows how these two leaders recognized the terrifying realities of the nuclear age while Castro—never swayed by conventional political considerations—demonstrated the messianic ambition of a man selected by history for a unique mission. As the story unfolds, Dobbs brings us onto the decks of American ships patrolling Cuba; inside sweltering Soviet submarines and missile units as they ready their warheads; and onto the streets of Miami, where anti-Castro exiles plot the dictator’s overthrow.

Based on exhaustive new research and told in breathtaking prose, here is a riveting account of history’s most dangerous hours, full of lessons for our time.

Baker & Taylor
A study of the 1962 Cuban missile crisis chronicles the standoff between the U.S. and the Soviet Union over the placement of missiles in Cuba, analyzing the events and personalities involved to reveal how close the world came to all-out nuclear war.

Book News
A reporter for The Washington Post, Dobbs sets out a minute-by-minute account of the 13 days in October 1962 when the US and the Soviet Union were reported to be on the verge of unleashing nuclear weapons on each other because of Soviet missiles in Cuba. He combines the techniques of historian and journalist, and chose the moment when much archival material has become available, when many of the key players are still alive to talk, and when most American alive today were not born yet and have never heard of the crisis. The title refers to the Doomsday Clock, which the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist uses to indicate the risk of nuclear war by how many minutes are left until midnight; it has never been one. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

& Taylor

An eye-opening study of the 1962 Cuban missile crisis offers an hour-by-hour chronicle of the tense standoff between the U.S. and the Soviet Union over the placement of missiles in Cuba, offering an in-depth analysis of the events and personalities involved that reveals how close the world actually came to all-out nuclear war. 50,000 first printing.

Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2008.
ISBN: 9781400043583
Characteristics: xvi, 426 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

There are no comments for this title yet.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at OPL

To Top