THE EVE OF DESTRUCTION: Kennedy and Khrushchev on the brink of Nuclear War by Marcus Clark

THE EVE OF DESTRUCTION: Kennedy and Khrushchev on the brink of Nuclear War

byMarcus Clark

Kobo ebook | October 28, 2012

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THE EVE OF DESTRUCTION is about America edging toward nuclear war with the Soviet Union. It would be a war that might kill hundreds of millions of people and poison the atmosphere for fifty years.
   In October 1962, American spy planes photographed missiles loaded with nuclear warheads in Cuba. The Soviet Union was installing the missiles, and they could reach targets in the USA within minutes. President Kennedy was trying to find a way out of the Cuban Missile Crisis without recourse to war.

The US armed forces were confident about attacking the Soviet Union in one all-out nuclear war, certain they would win. President John Kennedy was doubtful about their advice and motives, cautious after they told him similar gung-ho things about the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba.

This is the story of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

      Luke could hear the roar of the huge printing presses in the background. He was sitting opposite Walt who smiled delightedly, unable to understand what this was about. Luke listened to the sound and smell of the printing, he imagined the newspapers whizzing down to the collection point to be bundled; he could smell the newsprint, the fresh paper, the molten lead.
    "I sure like to read this The White Nation, Mr McBain. That was a brilliant story about those sex-mad niggers. I sure need to keep an eye on those niggers live next door to me, don't know what they might get up to at night. Yes Sir! Sure is an enlightening newspaper."
    "That's what I want to talk to you about Walt."
    "Sex-mad niggers?"
    "Walt, don't make this any more difficult. . . . " They faced each other across the table, Luke struggling for choice words.
    "I won't say a word," he stared a Luke with a smile on his lips.
    "D-do you like . . . working for The White Nation?"
    Walt smiled broadly. "Why sure I do! I get paid! It's a damn good job."
    "Could you get another job easily?"
    "I don't rightly know. You can't tell till you got it in your hand. I do something wrong? You want to get rid of me?"
    "No. How do . . . they treat you here?"
    "Why just like a regular nigger, Sir! I ain't got no grievance. No sir. I sure pleased dem white folks are looking out for me."
    "Fuck you Walt. Be serious. I want to know what you think of this war they are writing about."
    "War? We not at war."
    "You said you read The White Nation, then you would know the paper is . . . advocating an all out nuclear war."
    "Yes sir, I read The White Nation, but I don't pay it no mind. It's white folks business, so I don't read it much, just enough to do my work. We niggers keep to ourselves, sir."
    "If there is a war—if they destroyed Miami, would you care? It would be your business then."
    Walt was quiet a moment, gathering his thoughts. "No sir. If that bomb blows up Miami, and it makes us poor coons lose our rented shacks, and we got no work, not much food, and our kids get sick and we get sick and we're not allowed in the good hospitals, and the Russians come here and arrest us and say we are bad people and beat us up in police stations and put us in jail when we ain't done nothin', and we not allowed to go to good schools and they keep us out of colleges 'cause we just black niggers, and we not allowed to vote in elections 'cause we are too dumb to read, and we got to stand up to eat in Woolworth, and sit at the back of the bus, and people think if they talk to niggers they gonna get radiation sickness so's they keep right away—if all that happens to us niggers after the bomb goes off, then Sir, I says how would we know the bomb dropped? How we gonna tell the bomb gone off when our lives is just the same? Now ain't that the livin' truth? Now some of them white folks—they sure gonna know if the bomb falls, cause if Miami becomes a godawful slum, burnt out buildings, rats, sick people, no electricity, no cars, no newspapers, no color TV, well those white folks would have to move to Beverly Hills, or even Dallas. Yes sir, it'd sure hurt those white folks if they had to get a movin' truck. Mr McBain sir, I sure one dumb coon, and I ain't sure I've given you a clear answer to your question. Have I?"
    "Yes, you have Walt." He paused, then slowly said, "What about The White Nation? You ever feel like . . . just if there was some way you could close it down you'd be happy?"
    "Why Sir! I loves and respects The White Nation. We coons, got to know our place. We is getting paid good money by Mr Barsby. We loyal workers."
    "Cut out the shit, Walt."
    "No Sir! It be true. We get paid, we wouldn't do nothing to hurt Mr Barsby." He paused and looked at Luke quizzically, "Sir, are you working for Mr Hoover?"
    "No."
    "Man, you sure asking some strange questions."
    "Yeah." Luke got up and walked out. It was hopeless.

 

**************************************

 

She smiled mysteriously. "I met him in a little shop where he eats his lunch. They won't let him eat with the white people at work. I chat to him a bit, he was curious about what I wanted to talk about, then I asked him, 'Would you like to shut down The White Nation?'"
    'I have no reason to. I don't care about the paper.'
    'It hurts people like us.'
    'Not me, lady. This job gives me money. Money to feed my family, pay my bills.'
    'What good does it do for your children when it poisons the society where they live? It makes it harder for them to live when they grow up. Spreading hate is not worthwhile job, is it?'
    'It's the only job I got.'
    'Maybe you could get another job, where you are not harming the black children. This job makes poison, hatred; white people are going to be worse. They are going to feel good keeping us down. It is going to let them think that hurting people who do not have the white skin is right, good to keep us out of college, keep us from voting. You don't want that Walter, I know this thing.'
     "He sighed, but kept quite, I knew he was hoping I am finished and will leave. But I could see in his face, my words are true for him. I move closer to him, look in his eyes and I see things, know things. 'Walt, I see in your face, your eyes, this job is not one that brings you happiness, it does not bring your heart peace. You can do better than this job.'
    "Walter, he is now how you say . . . chokes? Inside him, he feels the truth that he had been holding down swell up like a powerful force. It gets into his eyes, stinging them. 'You're right, but what can one man do? I am nothing. I have no power. I can't stop them, so I . . . figured I could earn a living—what do you want? What are you doing here?'
    "I could feel a force all around me, helping me. It was not just me; I felt part of something, Luke. I was a wheel turning another wheel. I could feel power flowing through me."
    "I told him: 'I am here to shut down White Nation.' "
    "Walt laughed at me. He thought I was by myself, I knew I was in the team."
    'Lady, we haven't got much time. My lunch is nearly over. Let me tell you: no nigger woman is going to shut down The White Nation. Forgive me for being so blunt,' he said to me, 'but I see a touch of nigger in both of us.'
    'And you, it seems, are in charge of printing The White Nation?'
    'Sort of in charge. Some nights, depends who is there, depends on what is happening. That don't mean I can tell anyone what to do. Listen, I gotta get back,' he looked at his watch, wanting to get away from me, 'you tell me, just tell me how you gonna shut down The White Nation. It's impossible. Pickets out the front? A boycott? Black people gonna refuse to buy the paper? Tell me what your plum crazy idea is.'
    'Walt, I got a powerful friend called Mr J. Edgar Hoover. You heard of him? Sure you have! Well he don't actually know me, but he is willing to help, he is willing to shut down The White Nation.'
    'Shit. He supports them! Shows you know nothing.'
    'You know journalist called Paul Collins?'
    'Yeah, a bastard, real nigger-hating uppity bastard. And yeah, I heard he's dead.'
    'Killed by?'
    'Who knows, suicide they said.'
    'Killed on instructions of Mr Hoover.'
    'Why?'
    'Because he writes bad story about Hoover.'
    'Yeah?' He was showing interest, curious, puzzled.
    'In the story it says that Hoover is a homosexual, that he dresses in the women's clothes, protects the Mafia, embezzles money, blackmails people.'
    'So what's this got to do with—'
    'You print it and Hoover shuts The White Nation.'
    'Then they never, ever gonna print it. Why would they?'
    'Walt, I have this writing story in my purse, the same one that Mr Paul Collins wrote. It's real, see it?' I unfolded it and let him glance at it. 'Mr Hoover hates it because in it is truth about him. Very soon Barsby wants to print story on President Kennedy, to destroy him. If you typeset this story and print it instead, even one hundred copies, then Hoover will find out. Put it on the front page. When Mr Hoover see it, he will shut down The White Nation.'
    'Who are you? How do you know this stuff?'
    'I know this is way we can shut down The White Nation before it do more damage . . . like starting a bad war.'
    'What about me? They are going to come after me!'
    'You are going to say that Luke McBain gave you the story and told you to print it. He is editor. He spoke with—'
    'Yeah. Is that what he wanted? I didn't trust him. Why does he—'
    'Luke McBain is on our team. Think about this Walt. Put all the blame on Luke he will hide. He asks you to blame him. You were just doing what he told you. Will you do this for us?'
    'Who is us?'
    'The black people of this country, the people who work in factories, farms, shops . . . the people who are not white, the ones who they will not let vote, the ones they keep out of college, the ones who cannot eat their lunch with white folks. The children who would be killed in a war, the old people, the young people, the families.'
    'I . . . I don't know. Lady, you are something! How did you do this to me? Get out, get out!' But he was crying, tears slipping down his face. I put my arm around his shoulder, I knew he would help us. He was standing in shop, crying, tears down his face, 'Get away lady, you are too much for me. I am just one poor uneducated nigger. You are breaking my heart, where you from, God? Give me that fucking story, and go before I change my mind.'"

Title:THE EVE OF DESTRUCTION: Kennedy and Khrushchev on the brink of Nuclear WarFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:October 28, 2012Publisher:Download eBooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0980656281

ISBN - 13:9780980656282

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