Review of Herbert S. Dinerstein, [The Making of a Missile Crisis, October 1962] (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1976).
In this major study, Dinerstein depicts the missile gambit as the culmination of a systematic Soviet foreign policy design against the United States and Latin America, whose origins ran as far back as the overthrow of the Arbenz regime in Guatemala in 1954. The principal thesis of the study is that the deepening Soviet involvement with Cuba and the concomitant growth of Soviet interests in Latin America which began in the late 1950s provided not only a lucrative opportunity but also the primary rationale for the buildup of Soviet weaponry in Cuba that resulted in the missile showdown of October 1962. This book illuminates the relationship between Moscow's Cuban policy and the ultimate Soviet missile decision, offers new insights into the timing of the decision, and speculates about possible Soviet internal infighting over strategies once the venture broke into confrontation. 5 pp.