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Download One Minute to Midnight: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and Castro on the Brink of Nuclear War Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample One Minute to Midnight: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and Castro on the Brink of Nuclear War Audiobook, by Michael Dobbs Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (693 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Michael Dobbs Narrator: Bob Walter Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2008 ISBN: 9781415954584
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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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “First-rate…Even those who think they know everything about this event will learn new stories and gain further insight into the thinking of the major participants.”

    Library Journal

  • “Dobbs presents new and often startling information that again confirms that the ‘thirteen days in October’ brought the world to the edge of an unprecedented cataclysm.”

    Booklist

  • “A vivid account of just how close to the brink the world truly came…A welcome introduction to that perilous time.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Dobbs is a master…Densely packed, fast-paced, suspenseful.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “[Dobbs] succeeds brilliantly, marshaling diverse sources to relate an intensely human story of Americans, Russians, and Cubans caught up in what the late historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. termed ‘the most dangerous moment in human history’…[Filled] with memorable characters in extraordinary circumstances and exotic settings…One Minute to Midnight evokes novelists like Alan Furst, John le Carré, or Graham Greene.”

    Washington Post Book World

  • “Riveting and highly informative, One Minute to Midnight portrays the intense human drama of mankind on the brink of an unthinkable war.”

    Philadelphia Inquirer

  • “Extraordinary…As gripping as any fiction. Dobbs is an impeccable researcher and reporter.”

    Christian Science Monitor

  • “A book with sobering new information about the world’s only superpower nuclear confrontation—as well as contemporary relevance…Filled with insights that will change the views of experts and help inform a new generation.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • [Dobbs] succeeds brilliantly, marshaling diverse sources to relate an intensely human story of Americans, Russians and Cubans caught up in what the late historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. termed 'the most dangerous moment in human history' . . . [Filled] with memorable characters in extraordinary circumstances and exotic settings . . . One Minute to Midnight evokes novelists like Alan Furst, John le Carré or Graham Greene. James G. Hershberg, The Washington Post Book World
  • A book with sobering new information about the world's only superpower nuclear confrontation--as well as contemporary relevance . . . Filled with insights that will change the views of experts and help inform a new generation. Richard Holbrooke, The New York Times Book Review
  • One Minute to Midnight is nothing less than a tour de force, a dramatic, nail-biting page-turner that is also an important work of scholarship. Michael Dobbs combines the skills of an experienced investigative journalist, a talented writer and an intelligent historical analyst. His research is stunning. No other history of the Cuban missile crisis matches this achievement. Martin Sherwin, coauthor of American Prometheus
  • Is there anything new left to be said about the 1962 missile crisis? As it turns out, there is. This book puts forward the first reports I've seen of Soviet-Cuban plans to wipe out the Guantanamo Naval Base. That an American U-2 strayed over the Soviet Union during the crisis has been known all along, but Dobbs gives us the first full account of what happened. There were so many inadvertent steps and so many miscalculations involved in the crisis that we were lucky to come through it with the world in one piece. Wayne Smith, Director of the Cuban Program, Center for International Policy
  • Dobbs presents new and often startling information that again confirms that the 'thirteen days in October' brought the world to the edge of an unprecedented cataclysm. Booklist
  • First-rate . . . Even those who think they know everything about this event will learn new stories and gain further insight into the thinking of the major participants. Library Journal
  • Extraordinary . . . As gripping as any fiction. Dobbs is an impeccable researcher and reporter. Carlo Wolff, The Christian Science Monitor
  • Dobbs writes it up like a thriller. Billy Heller, New York Post
  • Did we need another book on the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962?  Anyone reading One Minute to Midnight will quickly realize that we did need another — and that this is it. This is unquestionably the most complete and accurate account of the crisis that we have, and will no doubt long remain so. Michael Dobbs has managed to combine the careful and thorough research of a scholar into the ability of an able journalist to bring his findings to life in a dramatic story that illuminates the historical events it examines with lively characterization of the people who made up the cast of the drama. It is first rate great history and a great read! Ambassador Raymond Garthoff, former intelligence analyst and author of Reflections on the Cuban Missile Crisis
  • At a time of danger for a nation it is important for political leaders first to think, then to think more and try avoid shooting. This book gives a day by day perspective on how two world leaders, John Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev, showed their ability to manage a crisis. Thanks to them, humanity survived and we are able to read this book. Sergei Khrushchev
  • Dobbs’s hour-to-hour chronology of those tormenting days when the world stood on the verge of nuclear holocaust is riveting. To enhance his knowledge of these events and installations, he studied the photographs taken during the crisis; Dobbs is the first historian to use these important images. Dino Brugioni, author of Eyeball to Eyeball
  • Dobbs is a master . . . densely packed, fast-paced, suspenseful. Publishers Weekly
  • A vivid account of just how close to the brink the world truly came . . . A welcome introduction to that perilous time. Kirkus
  • New York Times Bestseller
  • A 2008 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Nominee for History

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Matthew | 2/15/2014

    " A thorough reconstruction of the Cuban Missile Crisis, using a lot of previously unused sources to give a more complete picture of the whole Crisis. We came thiiiiiiis close to nuclear war. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shukti | 2/10/2014

    " I'm working through this thing right now. It's really insightful and shows how scary the Cuban Missile Crisis was. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 James | 2/7/2014

    " An amazing work, bringing forth facts heretofore missed or suppressed. Frightening, eye opening, informative. A real page-turner, even though we know how it ends. Dobbs rather sartorically points out that of all the players in the drama, Castro outlasted them all. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Claire | 2/3/2014

    " finally, i made it through this one. every time i tried to give up, something else interesting came along. this book would be waaay better with a ruthless editing job, but otherwise, good. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tanya Faberson | 2/3/2014

    " Thought it was awesome. While a lot has been written over the years on the Cuban missile crisis, I think this book doesn't falter from a lot of the biases prevalent in many of the other works on the subject. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Russ Walker | 1/27/2014

    " Really well-told tick-tock of the famous "13 Days" with lots more insight into the Soviet military deployment on Cuba. A great read on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the missile crisis. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Milan | 1/19/2014

    " Minute-by-minute account of 1962 missile crisis between US and USSR. Mainly written from the US perspective, but still many details from the Soviet side too. Very dramatic at times and some very exciting details about the decision making and tactics at that time. Chilling and "scary" read at times, but thoroughly enjoyable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Natasha | 1/15/2014

    " Very detailed history of a critical cold war event, of Cuban Missile Crisis. Learned lots. Not a super fast read but engaging. Increased my interest in Cuba. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Barb Florin | 1/11/2014

    " Lots of technical info ... hard to read. I didn't finish it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ken | 12/20/2013

    " Brilliant; enough to put anyone off poker for life! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Zaki | 12/13/2013

    " Good book that was interesting to read. It gave me a unique view of the Cuban Missile Crisis and. How close the world was to World War III! I am glad I read it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alyson | 10/27/2013

    " Fascinating book about the Cuban Missle Crisis. Dobbs went back to original sources and has new data and revelations about those crazy days. Lots of implications for our current and future international dealings. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jeffrey Miller | 6/20/2013

    " Brilliant, though I expected a little more at the end. I was surprised about some of the revelations the author makes about JFK. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Daniel Fletcher | 3/5/2013

    " Never knew just how close we were to nuclear war. We almost exploded a bomb in Indiana. F-106 full of nuclear bombs had a close call on landing in Indiana. I was involved with a crash of an F-106, brought back memories and made me research the crash. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tri | 12/10/2012

    " Easy to read. Good book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nigel | 11/4/2012

    " Awesome. I love the way it never mentions the future, so you see things as they unfold, as it would have been seen at the time. It made me appreciate how close things were, crazy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michael Earley | 7/2/2012

    " Literally one of the scariest books I've read. I knew we got close to all out wwiiii but didn't realize how close or how it could have changed in an instant. Shows the extremes of high stakes diplomacy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tanya | 3/13/2011

    " Thought it was awesome. While a lot has been written over the years on the Cuban missile crisis, I think this book doesn't falter from a lot of the biases prevalent in many of the other works on the subject. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hope | 3/11/2011

    " Interesting play by play description of the Cuban missile crisis. Dobbs explores the personalities of the men calling the shots and otherwise swept up in this momentous series of events that brought the US and USSR to the brink of nuclear war. 3.5 stars. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tommy | 1/22/2011

    " this is a must read if you're interested in the cold war. very well researched and entertaining. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Zaki | 1/1/2011

    " Good book that was interesting to read. It gave me a unique view of the Cuban Missile Crisis and. How close the world was to World War III! I am glad I read it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Robert | 12/23/2010

    " I think I've read just about everything on this crisis and this is an excellent, gripping summary of the time the world stood still. Read this and the book with the transcribed tapes and you will have an excellent understanding of the event. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mikebradbury | 12/21/2010

    " Excellent book, most informative , highly recommended "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John | 10/17/2010

    " Amost everything you think you know about the Missile Crisis is wrong. Utterly frightening. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katie | 7/27/2010

    " This one filled in the gaps on what I knew about the Cuban missile crisis (which wasn't all that much). Very well written, tense, and made me try other books written by this author. "

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About the Author
Author Michael Dobbs

Michael Dobbs is an internationally bestselling author who has never been far from controversy. He has worked at the center of British politics for Margaret Thatcher, John Major, and now David Cameron. He is the author of more than a dozen thrillers, including House of Cards, which became a hugely successful television drama, and three previous Harry Jones thrillers. He tries to live quietly near a pub and a church in Wiltshire.

About the Narrator

Bob Walter is a producer, director, and audiobook narrator. He is best known for his work as a music producer and sound effects designer for the movies Halloween, The Little Brave Toaster, and Apocalypse Now. His audiobook narrations include several nonfiction and fiction titles from Hachette, Random House, and HarperCollins, among others.