The American-Soviet nuclear confrontation of 1962 : an historiographical account of the Cuban missile crisis

Cardinal Scholar

Show simple item record

dc.contributor.advisor Hoover, Dwight W. en_US Medland, William James en_US
dc.coverage.spatial n-us--- e-ur--- nwcu--- en_US 2011-06-03T19:28:53Z 2011-06-03T19:28:53Z 1980 en_US 1980
dc.identifier LD2489.Z68 1980 .M4 en_US
dc.description.abstract The emplacement of Soviet missiles in Cuba in October of 1962 and the American response to this action thrust the world into its first major nuclear crisis. Because this American-Soviet confrontation seemed to propel the antagonists to the brink of nuclear holocaust, at least in appearance if not also in fact, a vast amount of history has been written on this brief but crucial episode in the Cold War. The purpose of this study is to examine the development of the various historiographical perspectives of the Cuban missile crisis.The traditionalists view President John F. Kennedy as responding by necessity to a Soviet threat to alter the balance of power via the Russian missiles in Cuba. The American response in the form of a quarantine was superb as President Kennedy successfully terminated the crisis by compelling Nikita S. Khrushchev-to withdraw the Soviet missiles from Cuba. The traditionalists praise the President for his exceptional skills in crisis management and for his superb leadership which ultimately resulted in a victory for America as a period of detente ensued between the United States and the Soviet Union.The right wing revisionists accuse President Kennedy encounters with the Soviet Union. They also accuse the President of seeking conciliation with the Russians during the crisis rather than seeking a military victory in the confrontation. According to the right wing perspective, the President suffered a defeat .in the aftermath of the crisis, for his policy of accommodation allowed Castro to continue his dictatorship over Cuba and permitted communism to become entrenched firmly in the Western Hemisphere.The left wing revisionists accuse President Kennedy of rejecting a diplomatic approach to the crisis and initiating the confrontation. For the sake of personal prestige and political expediency, the President arbitrarily transformed an international political problem into an international military crisis. According to the left wing perspective, the aftermath of the crisis instilled in Americans an arrogance of power and resulted in the advancement of the nuclear arms race.The Sovietologists' perspective differs from the other interpretations in that it neither praises nor condemns President Kennedy. The Sovietologists are concerned primarily with the Soviet motives for emplacing missiles in Cuba and for eventually withdrawing them. The Sovietologists ascribe multiple motives to the Russians for their decisions both to of contributing to the instigation his ineptness and lack of decisive of the crisis situation by leadership in previousemplace and to withdraw the missiles in Cuba.The concluding interpretation accuses both Khrushchey and Kennedy of initially acting irresponsibly, the former creating a situation subject to crisis and the latter by creating a needless confrontation. Once the crisis was initiated, the two leaders generally behaved responsibly and cautiously as they attempted to control the crisis. Yet, despite the efforts of Khrushchev and Kennedy, the nuclear confrontation was terminated successfully without armed conflict or catastrophic consequences as much by fortune as by human design. en_US
dc.format.extent vi, 232 leaves ; 28 cm. en_US
dc.source Virtual Press en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962. en_US
dc.subject.other Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963. en_US
dc.title The American-Soviet nuclear confrontation of 1962 : an historiographical account of the Cuban missile crisis en_US Thesis (Ph.D.) en_US
dc.identifier.cardcat-url en_US

Files in this item

Files Size Format View

There are no files associated with this item.

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

  • Doctoral Dissertations [3248]
    Doctoral dissertations submitted to the Graduate School by Ball State University doctoral candidates in partial fulfillment of degree requirements.

Show simple item record

Search Cardinal Scholar


My Account