Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Sergei Khrushchev Recalls the Cuban Missile Crisis on BBC

October 15, 2012

Sergei Khrushchev, past Senior Fellow at the Institute and son of former Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, recalls what it was like 50 years ago when his father and President John F. Kennedy were locked in a war of nerves and the world inched closer and closer to a nuclear war. Khrushchev, who is currently Visiting Professor of Slavic Languages at Brown, explained to a BBC reporter that cumbersome communication methods between Washington and Moscow meant that the decision to engage in war was delegated to leaders in the field — which is how for a brief moment a single submarine commander came to hold the fate of the world in his hands. Listen to the interview at the BBC.