VENDETTA! by William B. Breuer

VENDETTA!

Fidel Castro and the Kennedy Brothers
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 A specialist in highlighting the drama in espionage and war, Breuer (Shadow Warriors, 1996, etc.) chronicles the escalating clash between President John F. Kennedy and Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro. Breuer's account takes a strong anti-Castro view on the disintegration of relations between the US and Cuba. Yet Breuer is far from pro-Kennedy, demonstrating the similarities between the two leaders, especially their heavy reliance on brothers of parallel temperamentthe humorless and ruthless Bobby Kennedy and Ra£l Castro. Before Castro had completed his first year in charge of Cuba, President Dwight Eisenhower had ordered the CIA to eliminate him and his revolutionary government. In the early days of his presidential campaign, Kennedy criticized Eisenhower's assessment of the Cuban regime. Only after Kennedy learned of secret plans to invade Cuba did he begin to criticize Castro publicly, due to fears that such a dramatic military move would give the incumbent Republican administration an advantage at the polls. Kennedy shrewdly beat Richard Nixon to the punch during a televised debate, calling for American support of Cuban freedom fighters, while Nixon was unable to speak on the issue for fear that he would reveal the Eisenhower administration's support of the planned invasion. Within weeks of taking office, Kennedy was deeply involved in planning the Bay of Pigs invasion. When it failed both of its objectivesto overthrow the Castro government and maintain the myth that the invasion was inspired, planned, and manned solely by Cuban political refugeesCastro became the number one target of the ``Fighting Irish'' duo in the White House. Tensions mounted and then exploded as the ultimate Cold War drama unfolded: the Cuban missile crisis. Relying on American sources, including government documents and interviews with former spooks, Breuer adds some interesting tidbits to this often rehashed period of the Cold War. (17 photos, not seen)

Pub Date: Feb. 13th, 1998
ISBN: 0-471-18456-X
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Wiley
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 1998




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