The Perfect Failure

Trumbull Higgins, Author, Turmbull Higgins, Author W. W. Norton & Company $17.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-393-02473-9
On April 16, 1961, an understrength, weakly supported force of Cuban exiles attempted to seize a beachhead at the Bay of Pigs to establish an anti-Castro government. Within three days the invaders had been killed or captured, and the U.S. had suffered a humiliating foreign-policy setback. ""Not only were our facts in error,'' admitted President Kennedy, ``but our policy was wrong because the premises on which it was built were wrong.'' Higgins (Korea and the Fall of MacArthur) traces the development of those premises leading to the policymany of them legacies from the Eisenhower administrationthen describes the military fiasco itself and its immediate aftermath. The ``in error'' facts were largely supplied by the CIA in what Higgins calls ``the successful deception of the Kennedy administration'' by that agency. Kennedy himself comes off poorly here as a president who ``had the courage neither to carry the operation through nor to cancel it outright.'' (November 23)
Reviewed on: 11/02/1987
Release date: 11/01/1987
Paperback - 228 pages - 978-0-393-30563-0
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