Berlin 1961 : Kennedy, Khrushchev, and the most dangerous place on earth / Frederick Kempe.
- Berkley trade pbk. ed.
- New York : Berkley Pub Group 2012
- Originally published by G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2011.
- Includes bibliographical references (p. -563) and index.
- Foreword / Brent Scowcroft -- Introduction: The World's Most Dangerous Place -- Part I. The Players -- 1. Khrushchev: Communist in a Hurry -- Marta Hillers's Story of Rape -- 2. Khrushchev: The Berlin Crisis Unfolds -- 3. Kennedy: A President's Education -- The أSniperؤ Comes In from the Cold -- 4. Kennedy: A First Mistake -- 5. Ulbricht and Adenauer: Unruly Alliances -- The Failed Flight of Friedrich Brandt -- 6. Ulbricht and Adenauer: The Tail Wags the Bear -- Part II. The Gathering Storm -- 7. Springtime for Khrushchev -- 8. Amateur Hour -- Jörn Donner Discovers the City -- 9. Perilous Diplomacy -- 10. Vienna: Little Boy Blue Meets Al Capone -- 11. Vienna: The Threat of War -- 12. Angry Summer -- Marlene Schmidt, the Universe's Most Beautiful Refugee -- Part III. The Showdown -- 13. أThe Great Testing Placeؤ -- Ulbricht and Kurt Wismach Lock Horns -- 14. The Wall: Setting the Trap -- 15. The Wall: Desperate Days -- Eberhard Bolle Lands in Prison -- 16. A Hero's Homecoming -- 17. Nuclear Poker -- 18. Showdown at Checkpoint Charlie -- Epilogue: Aftershocks -- Acknowledgments -- Notes -- Bibliography -- Index.
- Based on a new documents and interviews, this work is a look at the Berlin Crisis of 1961, with powerful applications for the present. In June 1961, Nikita Khrushchev called it 'the most dangerous place on earth.' He knew what he was talking about. Much has been written about the Cuban Missile Crisis a year later, but the Berlin Crisis of 1961 was more decisive in shaping the Cold War, and more perilous. For the first time in history, American and Soviet fighting men and tanks stood arrayed against each other, only yards apart. One mistake, one overzealous commander, and the trip wire would be sprung for a war that would go nuclear in a heartbeat. On one side was a young, untested U.S. president still reeling from the Bay of Pigs disaster. On the other, a Soviet premier hemmed in by the Chinese, the East Germans, and hard liners in his own government. Neither really understood the other, both tried cynically to manipulate events. And so, week by week, the dangers grew.