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THE SUNDAY TIMES, June 3, 2012
For the people of Berlin, Saturday, August 12, 1961 was a lovely warm day. In the parks, families played in the sunshine; in the Kreuzberg neighbourhood, the streets were packed with visitors from all over the city for the annual children’s fair. As afternoon gave way to evening, the organisers set off fireworks; then many families moved on to West Berlin’s picture houses, which that weekend were showing Marilyn Monroe in The Misfits, Charlton Heston in Ben-Hur and Spencer Tracy in The Old Man and the Sea. And in a hunting lodge just outside the city, East Germany’s communist leader, Walter Ulbricht, put the finishing touches to his plan to slice Berlin in two…
A lively meticulous account of a crucial year in history, when the third world war nearly started in Berlin.”
SHREVEPORT TIMES, August 19, 2011
In his excellent book “Berlin 1961: The Most Dangerous Place on Earth,” author Frederick Kempe quotes the U.S.S.R.’s Nikita Khrushchev’s observations about an inexperienced and poorly prepared John F. Kennedy’s lamentable lack of leadership, and the U.S. Senate, during the Berlin crisis…
OREGONLIVE.COM, September 27, 2011
As Frederick Kempe explains in his new book, ‘Berlin 1961: Kennedy, Khrushchev and the Most Dangerous Place on Earth,’ the divided city was where the superpowers confronted each other, where the nuclear trigger might get pulled — and where, Kempe argues, President Kennedy made a disastrous miscalculation in accepting the Berlin Wall, a mistake that led directly to the Cuban Missile Crisis.
AMERICAN DIPLOMACY, September 21, 2011
…Kempe’s book is a significant contribution to our understanding of one of the key developments of the Cold War. It also will enhance public appreciation of the role of diplomats and diplomacy, because Berlin 1961 is as eminently readable as good as any good “who done it.”
COMMENTARY MAGAZINE June 1, 2011
…Berlin 1961 focuses on the city that was the only stage where the two superpowers confronted each other directly, but Kempe’s camera pans rapidly across to Washington, Moscow, Vienna, and the other theaters of the Cold War. The day-by-day, sometimes hour- by-hour account of how Kennedy and his circle of advisers handled the crisis of 1961 is surprisingly fresh, given the quantities of ink already spilled on this briefest of presidencies.
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