The Cuban Missile Crisis is the closest the United States came to nuclear war during the Cold War era. Facing down the buildup of Soviet missiles in Cuba in 1962, President John F. Kennedy took a calculated risk and succeeded in negotiating the removal of those weapons after weeks of teetering on the brink of war. This riveting narrative and ready-reference guide captures the drama of that crisis. Eleven chapters trace the unfolding of events from the United States, Cuban, and Soviet perspectives. Ready reference features include: a blow-by-blow chronology of daily events during the Crisis, lengthy biographical profiles of the nine key players, including Cuba's Fidel Castro, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, and key Kennedy Cabinet members who were part of Kennedy's Crisis team; the text of 19 primary documents, including conversations in the Oval Office and memoranda that put the reader inside the crisis room, and Kennedy's speeches to the nation; and an annotated bibliography of print and electronic sources suitable for student research. James Nathan, an expert on the Cuban Missile Crisis, provides an interesting narrative with all the high drama of the Crisis, along with a contemporary historical perspective that will help readers to gain an understanding of the event that symbolized the height of the Cold War and its long-term significance.