The Bay of Pigs
University Press 2008
New Books in American StudiesNew Books in Caribbean StudiesNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Military HistoryNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books Network August 29, 2008 Marshall Poe
There is just something about Fidel Castro that American presidents don’t like very much. Maybe it’s the long-winded anti-American diatribes. Maybe it’s the strident communism (to which he came rather late, truth be told ). Maybe it’s the beard. In any event, it’s clear that Eisenhower, JFK, and Johnson held personal grudges against the Cuban generalissimo. In fact, they all tried to kill him, as Howard Jones shows in his masterful The Bay of Pigs (Oxford, 2008). If you think the Bush administration’s foreign policy is ham-fisted, you really need to read this book. The Bay of Pigs makes it seem as if Kennedy’s “best and brightest” couldn’t have successfully organized a bake sale, let alone an invasion. The CIA got the intelligence wrong, the Joint Chiefs fouled up the military planning, and executive branch was living in bizarro world. Sound familiar? I would laugh, but the fact of the matter is that Kennedy and his crew left 1200 exiles–patriots all–to die on the Playa Giron. There are lessons here, if any one cares to draw them. Thanks to Howard Jones for bringing them to our attention when we need them most.
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