Annotative Bibliography: The Cuban Missile Crisis

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Annotative Bibliography:

The Cuban Missile Crisis

Matthew Storms

History 411

Professor Guevara

May 10, 2013


The Cuban Missile Crisis was a conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union during October of 1962. Tension between the two countries had been growing throughout the Cold War, with a near nuclear war taking place during the thirteen days of terror between the United States and the Soviets. Under the leadership of President John F. Kennedy, the conflict was resolved. Early in his presidency Kennedy had been influenced to invade the small country of Cuba in order to overthrow its communist dictator Fidel Castro, as the United States throughout the Cold War sought to stop the spread of communist around the globe. As a result, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev aided the Cubans with middle and intermediate range nuclear missiles that could easily strike a good portion of the United States. This may have been a response to U.S. missiles in Turkey. In the hopes to prevent a nuclear war, the Kennedy Administration decided against a military attack or invasion of Cuba or the Soviets, but instead created a naval blockade or quarantine in order to peacefully prevent Soviet ships from entering Cuba. Despite a lack of communication and patience between the two sides the conflict was resolved peacefully, and all nuclear weapons were removed from Cuba, with the promise that the United States would never invade the island again. The crisis even today remains the closest the world has ever come to nuclear warfare.

Today, the Cuban Missile Crisis remains an important part of the Cold War and the history of the United States as a whole. Due to the fact that the crisis occurred somewhat recently, many sources including primary, secondary, and tertiary can be easily acquired. The influx of sources leaves historians with countless methods in order to research and understand this important topic. However, for my research I would begin by using numerous primary sources from individuals involved on either side of the conflict. This method of research will allow me to not only explain the vantage point and observations of the United States, but also the Cuban prospective, which is not often discussed. This is important as it may eliminate biases and misconceptions as both sides of the story are told. The next step in my research process would be to find scholarly secondary sources written after the fact to understand how the Cuban Missile Crisis has impacted our world today, and to review the opinions of those educated on the topic. Lastly, I would turn to an online database to research and understand the importance of the Cuban Missile Crisis during the Cold War. By looking at the Cold War as a whole I can gain a deeper understanding of what caused the Cuban Missile Crisis, and its aftermath. The website also includes recent declassified documents, audio recordings of key figures, and photographs. By conducting research in this manner, I believe that a cultivating, well-rounded, historically accurate paper can be created.

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