Reviews

“From Castro’s journey to New York, where he was greeted by thousands of cheering Americans, to an examination of the CIA’s role in the invasion, the book is filled with copiously researched historical information. Yet, thanks to Rasenberger’s skillful writing, Brilliant Disaster reads more like a thriller than a history book, making it accessible to any reader with even the faintest interest in the topic.”  –The Daily Beast

“Jim Rasenberger’s new book lets the facts speak for themselves….Its context is richly detailed, its tempo novelistic. Forthright and accessible, it delineates a convoluted chain of events leading to humiliation and tragedy.”
–The Miami Herald (Listed among the Miami Herald’s Favorite Books of the Year)

“An enthralling and illuminating history of the bloody mess that unfolded on the beaches of Cuba’s Bay of Pigs…..In addition to providing a thoroughly detailed account of events, Rasenberger raises larger issues, such as the hubris that has characterized an increasingly militarized U.S. foreign policy during the span of years from the Bay of Pigs invasion to the war in Iraq. He makes a very plausible connection between the Bay of Pigs and the accelerated U.S. involvement in Vietnam, as Kennedy was determined to ‘draw a line in the sand’ that he would not allow communists to cross.” –The Dallas Morning News

“In his new book, The Brilliant Disaster, Jim Rasenberger suggests that the debacle marked the start of the Vietnam era, when Americans began to question whether the country was run by competent men engaged in worthwhile enterprises.” –NPR,This Week’s Outstanding Softcover Releases

“A balanced, engrossing account of the U.S.-backed invasion of Fidel Castro’s Cuba…. Graceful, dramatic writing makes this well-worn story new again.”
Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review; named one of the Best Nonfiction Books of 2011)

“An important and engrossing work.” –Library Journal (Starred Review)

“Rasenberger has crafted a masterpiece, well written, fast moving, and easy to read.” –InCity Times

“This is great history, the anecdotal type chock full of details about larger-than-life historical figures brought down to human size.”
The Buffalo News

“A vivid and fleet-footed account of the fiasco.”–Washingtonian

“Rasenberger provides an outstanding chronological day-by-day, nearly minute-by-minute, account of the operation…. Written with clarity and ease, The Brilliant Disasteris certainly not the first book about one of the most complicated events in Cold War history, but Rasenberger breaks it down so well that his book provides one of the most complete looks at the failed operation and its effect on the course of modern American history.” –Idaho Statesman

“What I love about Jim Rasenberger’s richly detailed, startlingly revisionist account of the Bay of Pigs invasion is his sheer storytelling ability, the wonderful, steady march of plot and counterplot, of heroes and foils. His tale is chock full of larger-than-life character—from JFK to Castro, mafia bossses, and the steely-eyed, hypersmart men of the New Frontier. The Brilliant Disaster is what history ought to be: sharply drawn and with a constant eye on the big picture.”
–S. C. Gwynne, author of Empire of the Summer Moon

“If you like Mad Men, spy novels, and brilliant writing, you’ll love The Brilliant Disaster.  If you’re new to any of these, consider Jim Rasenberger your guide to one of the most fascinating  and dramatic episodes of America, post-Korea, pre Vietnam and the Cold War.  He has written an amazing account that speeds along, one dramatic cloak and dagger scene after another, all judiciously reported. The people in his book come to life, vividly-you hear them, see them, and understand them, although you may not agree with them. This is highly entertaining and engrossing history.” –Doug Stanton, author of Horse Soldiers

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