One Minute to Midnight

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

Hardcover, 448 pages

English language

Published June 3, 2008 by Knopf.

OCLC Number:

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5 stars (1 review)

In October 1962, at the height of the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union were sliding inexorably toward a nuclear conflict over the placement of missiles in Cuba. Veteran journalist Michael Dobbs has used 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, he takes us onto the decks of American ships patrolling Cuba; inside sweltering Soviet submarines and missile units as they ready their warheads; and 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.--From publisher description.

3 editions

Jaw Dropping

5 stars

I almost read this book twice - it is a fascinating tail of us almost losing out on, well, life. I did my college history thesis on the Cuban Missile Crisis (in 2002) and really could have used a narrative like this. Learned many new and smaller details that really adds to the intrigue and danger.


  • Caribbean & West Indies - General
  • United States - 20th Century
  • History / United States / 20th Century
  • History
  • History - U.S.
  • History: American