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History As It Happens

Oct 25, 2022

Sixty Octobers ago the world narrowly avoided nuclear conflict. After 13 tense days, the Cuban Missile Crisis ended with a compromise deal rather than war. President Joseph R. Biden’s remark that the war in Ukraine represents humanity’s closest brush with nuclear Armageddon since the 1962 crisis may at first seem overwrought, but there’s nothing like an anniversary to focus our minds on such a dreadful possibility. The war in Eastern Europe is escalating, and there is no sign it will come to a decisive conclusion before the onset of winter. Hanging over all of this is Vladimir Putin’s threat to use tactical nuclear weapons inside Ukraine. In this episode, military historian Max Hastings, author of “The Abyss: Nuclear Crisis Cuba 1962”, discusses the critical parallels between the two conflicts.