For 13 days in October 1962, the United States came closer than it ever had to nuclear war with the Soviet Union. In retaliation for the U.S. placement of missiles near the Soviet border in Europe, the Soviet Union placed missiles on Cuba, a mere 90 miles from U.S. soil. In the 13 heated days that followed, U.S. President John F. Kennedy and Soviet leader Nikita S. Khrushchev successfully negotiated a peaceful end to the missile standoff that had led the world to the brink of nuclear war a war that would have undoubtedly devastated both countries. The Cuban Missile Crisis explores the dramatic developments of those 13 days, from the time the United States first learned of the USSR's nuclear missiles in Cuba to the steps taken to ensure that those missiles were never fired.
Heather Lehr Wagner is a writer and an editor. She is the author of more than 30 books exploring social and political issues and focusing on the lives of prominent men and women. She earned a B.A. in political science from Duke University and an M.A. in government from the College of William and Mary. She lives in Pennsylvania.