By Sheldon M. Stern
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Extra resources for The Cuban Missile Crisis in American memory : myths versus reality
8 Arthur Schlesinger’s foreword to the edition of Thirteen Days was published right on the cusp of that his- 36 The Template: Robert F. Kennedy’s Thirteen Days toriographical transformation. Nonetheless, he continued—much like in his RFK biography—to uncritically accept many of RFK’s published assertions despite the fact that they were, for the first time, open to corroboration by the tape recordings or to a lesser degree by the publication of a set of complete ExComm transcripts.
The idea of a limited first step—a naval blockade—gradually began to pick up support. Robert Kennedy, clearly distressed by the talk of a naval blockade, spoke up for the first time well into the first hour of the meeting. Speaking directly to his brother, RFK warned that any military action short of an all-out invasion would be ineffectual: “you’re droppin’ bombs all over Cuba if you do the second [comprehensive air strike]. . You’re covering most of Cuba. S. Jupiter missiles in Turkey. ” That was the only choice that justified the military and political costs resulting from so much destruction and loss of life.
To pull away. . ” Kennedy also expressed serious concerns that the Soviet crews might resist boarding and that machine-gun fire could result in dozens of casualties on both sides. S. from Cuba. m. m. meeting, the president and his brother Bobby talked alone in the Oval Office. ” JFK declared. “If they get this mean on this one—Jesus Christ! ” “Well, that’s what I think,” JFK replied. They agreed that OAS support would be invaluable in legitimizing the blockade but also recognized that no one could forecast events at the quarantine line the following morning.