Title: When Angels Wept: A What-If History of the Cuban Missile Crisis
Author: Eric G. Swedin
Publisher: Potomac Books Inc.
Release Date: August 31, 2010
Size: 316 pages, 6×9, softcover
In 1961 at the Bay of Pigs, CIA-trained and -organized Cuban exiles aiming to overthrow Fidel Castro were soundly defeated. Most were taken prisoner by Cuban armed forces. Fearing another U.S. invasion of its new ally, the Soviet Union sneaked into Cuba strategic missiles tipped with nuclear warheads and Soviet troops armed with tactical nuclear weapons. However, a U-2 spy plane flight would soon find the Soviet missile sites, thus sparking the famous missile crisis. For thirteen terrifying days, the world watched nervously as the two superpowers moved toward escalation, holding the world’s fate in their hands. Finally, Nikita Khrushchev blinked. He agreed to withdraw the weapons from Cuba in return for John F. Kennedy’s pledge not to invade the island.
But what if it had not turned out this way? What if the U-2 flight had been delayed? If the confrontation had set off a nuclear war, what would have happened to the United States and Soviet Union in 1962? What kind of account would a historian have written in a world scarred by nuclear war?