Thirteen Days by Robert F. Kennedy

Posted April 27th, 2011 by Rebekah

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Summary: Thirteen Days is Robert F. Kennedy’s indepth recollection of the events leading up to, and during, the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1961. He takes you inside the Oval office, and recounts all the stressful conversations between the president and his board on how to solve this problem with the Soviets, the very fate of the world resting in their hands.

Review: I had to read this book for my honors history class, and I actually really enjoyed it. I didn’t know much about the Cuban Missile Crisis in the first place, so I was excited to learn more about it. The Cuban Missile Crisis was basically when the Soviets were placing nuclear missiles on the beaches of Cuba. They US felt threatened by them, and it went into a thirteen day back-and-forth discussion between the two sides on how to solve this problem safely. The book explains this much more in detail, but you get the picture for now. Normally I am not a huge fan of nonfiction because the way it is usually written makes it sound more like a textbook, but I was surprised at the way this one was told. It was basically like Robert F. Kennedy took you back in time to that moment, and told it as though it was happening right then and there again. I love the fact that he talked about what happened during all of the meetings and discussions between the president and his advisors, because people rarely get to see that side of politics. You get to learn about all the ideas for solutions that came out from the men, and what everyone else thought of them. I think this was interesting, because you can see what the president thought of each person’s idea and which one he thought was best. I also liked the fact that he went through his own emotions that he felt at the time. Robert Kennedy, along with the other few people who knew about the crisis before it was made known to the public, was going through metal struggles because he couldn’t tell his family what was going on in fear that the word might spread and the nation might go into a panic. They all wanted their family to be protected, but they knew that the issue must be kept quiet until a better time came around to announce it to the entire nation. Overall, I was shocked at how much I liked this. The book is about 180-some pages long, but the actual story is only 100 pages long (the rest is all documents mentioned in the story, like the letters than Kennedy wrote to Khrushchev and some speeches he made). I think that if you are a big history buff and enjoy reading these types of books, then you will really love this one!


Hello! My name is Rebekah, and I am obsessed with reading and writing. They basically make up my whole life! When I grow up, I would love to be either a published author or a journalist for the Pittsburgh Penguins. That brings me to another one of my obsessions: hockey! The Pens are my favorite team, and Evgeni Malkin is my favorite player. Have a nice day!! (:

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