The Bay of Pigs by Howard Jones
(Pivotal Moments in American History)

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In The Bay of Pigs, Howard Jones provides a concise, incisive, and dramatic account of the disastrous attempt to overthrow Castro in April 1961. Drawing on recently declassified CIA documents, Jones deftly examines the train of missteps and self-deceptions that led to the invasion of U.S.-trained exiles at the Bay of Pigs.
Ignoring warnings from the ambassador to Cuba, the Eisenhower administration put in motion an operation that proved nearly unstoppable even after the inauguration of John F. Kennedy. The CIA and Pentagon, meanwhile, both voiced confidence in the outcome of the invasion, especially after coordinating previous successful coups in Guatemala and Iran. And so the Kennedy administration launched the exile force toward its doom in Cochinos Bay on April 17, 1961. Jones gives a riveting account of the battle--and the confusion in the White House--before moving on to explore its implications. The Bay of Pigs, he writes, set the course of Kennedy's foreign policy. It was a humiliation for the administration that fueled fears of Communist domination and pushed Kennedy toward a hardline "cold warrior" stance. But at the same time, the failed attack left him deeply skeptical of CIA and military advisers and influenced his later actions during the Cuban missile crisis.

About Howard Jones

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Howard Jones is the author of Mutiny on the Amistad and Death of a Generation. He is University Research Professor of History at the University of Alabama.
Published July 11, 2008 by Oxford University Press, USA. 273 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, War. Non-fiction

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The author apportions blame among the CIA—Allen Dulles and Richard Bissell emerge as the chief villains—the Joint Chiefs who signed off on a military plan for which they bore no responsibility, and the White House, seized by seeming Cold War imperatives and seeking plausible deniability for a sch...

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Publishers Weekly

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While the abortive invasion “solidified” Castro’s rule, the author says, failure didn’t deter Kennedy, whose administration made the overthrow of Castro its “central focus.” Extensively researched and cogently reasoned, Jones’s update of this Cold War turning point for the Pivotal Moments in Amer...

Jun 02 2008 | Read Full Review of The Bay of Pigs (Pivotal Mome...

Tampa Bay Times

Related News/Archive Review: 'Berlin 1961: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and the Most Dangerous Place on Earth' by Frederick Kempe details drama leading to Berlin Wall More than a Year ago Review: In 'Take Me With You,' Frias brings romantic eye to Cuba, family's homeland He calls the attempt t...

Aug 16 2008 | Read Full Review of The Bay of Pigs (Pivotal Mome...

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