Bertrand Russell's Role in the Cuban Missile Crisis

Historian article

By Victoria Martin, published 31st May 2002

'An attack on the United States with 10,000 megatons would lead to the death of essentially all of the American people and to the destruction of the nation.’ ‘In 1960 President Kennedy mentioned 30,000 megatons as the size of the world’s stockpile of nuclear weapons.’ In the autumn of 1962 the world came close to seeing these frightening statistics become reality when the two great superpowers of the Cold War turned a dispute over the government of Cuba into a dangerous game of ‘chicken’, with neither side willing to back down and lose face.

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