Avoiding Catastrophe: The Interactional Production of Possibility during the Cuban Missile Crisis1

  title={Avoiding Catastrophe: The Interactional Production of Possibility during the Cuban Missile Crisis1},
  author={David R. Gibson},
  journal={American Journal of Sociology},
  pages={361 - 419}
  • David R. Gibson
  • Published 1 September 2011
  • Political Science
  • American Journal of Sociology
In October 1962, the fate of the world hung on the U.S. response to the discovery of Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba. President Kennedy’s decision to impose a blockade was based on hours of discussions with top advisers (the so-called ExComm), yet decades of scholarship on the crisis have missed the central puzzle: How did the group select one response, the blockade, when all options seemed bad? Recently released audio recordings are used to argue that the key conversational activity was… 
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