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  • Abyss

  • The Cuban Missile Crisis 1962
  • By: Max Hastings
  • Narrated by: John Hopkins
  • Length: 19 hrs and 12 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (186 ratings)

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Abyss

By: Max Hastings
Narrated by: John Hopkins
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Summary

From the #1 bestselling historian Max Hastings.

The 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis was the most perilous event in history, when mankind faced a looming nuclear collision between the United States and Soviet Union. During those weeks, the world gazed into the abyss of potential annihilation. 

Max Hastings’s graphic new history tells the story from the viewpoints of national leaders, Russian officers, Cuban peasants, American pilots and British disarmers. Max Hastings deploys his accustomed blend of eye-witness interviews, archive documents and diaries, White House tape recordings, top-down analysis, first to paint word-portraits of the Cold War experiences of Fidel Castro’s Cuba, Nikita Khrushchev’s Russia and Kennedy’s America; then to describe the nail-biting Thirteen Days in which Armageddon beckoned.

Hastings began researching this book believing that he was exploring a past event from twentieth century history. He is as shocked as are millions of us around the world, to discover that the rape of Ukraine gives this narrative a hitherto unimaginable twenty-first century immediacy. We may be witnessing the onset of a new Cold War between nuclear-armed superpowers.

To contend with today’s threat, which Hastings fears will prove enduring, it is critical to understand how, sixty years ago, the world survived its last glimpse into the abyss. Only by fearing the worst, he argues, can our leaders hope to secure the survival of the planet.

©2022 Max Hastings (P)2022 HarperCollins Publishers Limited
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about Abyss

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Detailed analysis well narrated

As someone who was told at school that we could all be incinerated during the events of 1962 this book is compelling listening for anyone who fears the same outcome 60 years later. The crowning of Emperor Xi in 2022 serves to remind us all how a tiny group of individuals could destroy the whole planet.

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Brilliant

This is quite excellent. As usual for Max Hasting in fairness. It really does delve into the events and has strong coverage of the Russian and Cuban side too, so not limited to a US viewpoint. Great at the start setting the scene and on surveys of US, Russian and Cuban societies. Perfectly read too,

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Excellent

A very well researched and written book and narrated very well too - highly recommended. Important parallels drawn between then and now

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Informative and interesting

Well written, good narration but best of all a good listen. The amount of detail is phenomenal yet it never loses the listener in information overload.

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An excellent account of the world on a knife edge

Well presented and balanced history of the Cuban missile crisis with reference to parallels with the world today. An essential read to understand how misunderstanding can lead to disaster

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Outstandingly Good.

Brilliantly written and narrated, and at the end Hastings makes a good case for its continued relevance in the 21st century.

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Max Hastings Best!

In my humble estimation this is the historian's best book - and that is really saying something!
I never knew anything beforehand about the Cuban missile crisis and now I know everything I need to know thanks to this magisterial work. The whole listening experience was greatly enhanced by the narrator. My previous listen was a book called 'First Casualty' (also highly recommended) read by John Hopkins and his narration skills are just perfect for these historical genres. So that is a double reason to purchase this book on the Cuban crisis.

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A frightening story of (my) our time.

A well timed insight into the Cuban Crisis and the cast of characters that took the world to the edge of destruction.

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  • CL
  • 07-01-23

Fascinating story

Well told and narrated - decision makers of all kinds should heed this example of experienced leaders facing a tough problem.

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Exceptional

One of the best listens l've had. Maz Hastings once again captures the times and portrays them in the wider form and context, easily understandable and more importantly, riveting in its entertainment.
In a phrase...unmissable great book.