Book Review: The Shadow of War by Jeff Shaara

May 30, 2024

About:

The Shadow of War: A Novel of the Cuban Missile Crisis by Jeff Shaara takes place in the few days in which the world was on the brink of nuclear war. Mr. Shaara is a best-selling author, known for historical fiction books told through the views of individuals.

  • 368 pages
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ St. Martin’s Press
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1250279968

Book Review: The Shadow of War by Jeff Shaara
My rat­ing for The Shadow of War —5
Buy The Shadow of War from Amazon.com*
More Books by Jeff Shaara*

Thoughts:

Like other Jeff Shaara books, this one also presents historical events from different points of view. And like his other books, this one is also well-researched.

One of the reasons I have enjoyed Jeff Shaara’s books for the last few decades is that he takes larger-than-life figures, and makes them relatable. He does the same in The Shadow of War, even though the book only looks at the Cuban Missile Crisis.

The book tells of the immense pressure faced by the new, young President and his brother/Attorney General – the only man he trusted. John F. Kennedy knew that Nikita Kruschev had danced diplomatic circles around him and was testing him. Bobby Kennedy has to manage his brother’s team and act as a gatekeeper.

The book does a great job of telling of the pressures felt by JFK. The Bay of Pigs invasion was a colossal failure, Communism was a huge perceived threat, his generals wanted war, and UN Ambassador Adlai Stevenson pushed for appeasement.

Jeff Shaara does not forget the average American, told through the eyes of Joseph Russo who only knows what is reported. Mr. Russo represents the public sentiment, without the knowledge that leaders, and in this case the reader, had. This aspect of the book keeps us all grounded with real-life consequences, not just political humiliation.

The book is gripping, and surprisingly filled with tension. Even though we already know what happened, the idea of what “could have been” is terrifying. For me, the real charm is the lesser-known events that get lost in the big picture, but are no less important.

Buy The Shadow of War from Amazon.com*
More Books by Jeff Shaara*

Zohar — Man of la Book
Dis­claimer:I got this book for free
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account, the money is usually spent on books

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Summary
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The Shadow of War: A Novel of the Cuban Missile Crisis by Jeff Shaara
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Wrap Up

The Shadow of War: A Novel of the Cuban Missile Crisis by Jeff Shaara

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