The Shadow of War transports readers back to a historic stand-off between two superpowers while a frightened nation worried about a nuclear holocaust.


The Description

Publication Date: May 14, 2024

From the bestselling author comes the story of rising conflict between the super-powers that gripped the world, a global war that almost happened: The Cuban Missile Crisis.

In 1961, the new president John F. Kennedy, inherited an ill-conceived, poorly executed invasion of Cuba that failed miserably and set in motion the events that put the U.S. and the Soviet Union on a collision course that nearly started a war that would have enveloped much of the world.

Extensively researched and vividly imagined, The Shadow of War brings to life the many threads that lead to the building crisis between the Soviet Union and the United States in 1962.

Told from a multitude of perspectives and voices, from the Russian engineer attempting the near impossible task of building the missile launch facilities in Cuba, to the U.S. Navy commanders who ships are sent to “quarantine” Cuba, to the Soviet Premier, Nikita Khrushchev, desperately trying to maintain a challenging balancing act between the conflicting demands of various powerful forces, to the brothers Kennedy (Bobby and JFK) who can’t allow Russia to land nuclear missiles in Cuba, or to appear weak in confronting Khrushchev, but keenly understand how close they are dancing to the edge of war.

Shaara brings to life all the action and actors, famous and little known, that embodied a war that almost happened, the Cuban Missile Crisis.

The Review

Every generation has a pivotal moment in history, whether it’s the Challenger explosion, 9/11, or Covid. Although before my time, the Cuban Missile Crisis served as a key event in October 1962.

Author Jeff Shaara tackles the events leading up to that tense stand-off between the United States and Russia in The Shadow of War. His reconstruction conveys the fear and other emotions surrounding the story, featuring two sides wrestling through issues, claims, and promises.

Front and center are the Kennedy brothers. One is a newly elected president, and the other is the attorney general. Nikita Khrushchev represents the absolute leader of the Soviet Union. The fourth main character is an English professor from Florida who watches the nation get swept up in panic for fallout shelters.

These characters, coupled with secondary characters from Washington, Moscow and Cuba, come to life through the author’s research into memoirs, diaries and other accounts. It’s a refreshing look compared to the dry history book version.

The Shadow of War transports readers back to an historic stand-off between two superpowers while a frightened nation worried about a nuclear holocaust.

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About The AuthorJEFF SHAARA is the award-winning, New York TimesUSA TodayWall Street Journal and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of nineteen novels, including The Old Lion, as well as Gods and Generals and The Last Full Measure – two novels that complete the trilogy begun with his father’s Pulitzer Prize-winning classic, The Killer Angels. Shaara was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, grew up in Tallahassee, Florida, and lives in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.



Amy Wilson
Amy Wilson
My name is Amy W., and I am a book addict. I will never forget the day I came home from junior high school to find my mom waiting for me with one of the Harlequin novels from my stash. As she was gearing up for the "you shouldn't be reading this" lecture, I told her the characters get married in the end. I'm just glad she didn't find the Bertrice Small book hidden in my closet. I have diverse reading tastes, evident by the wide array of genres on my Kindle. As I made the transition to an e-reader, I found myself worrying that something could happen to it. As a result, I am now the proud owner of four Kindles -- all different kinds, but plenty of back-ups! "Fifty Shades of Grey" gets high marks on my favorites list -- not for character development or dialogue (definitely not!), but because it blazed new ground for those of us who believe provocative fiction is more than just an explicit cover. Sylvia Day, Lexie Blake, and Kristin Hannah are some of my favorite authors. Speaking of diverse tastes, I also enjoy Dean Koontz, Iris Johansen, and J.A. Konrath. I’m always ready to discover new-to-me authors, especially when I toss in a palate cleanser that is much different than what I would normally read. Give me something with a well-defined storyline, add some suspense (or spice), and I am a happy reader. Give me a happily ever after, and I am downright giddy.


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The Shadow of War transports readers back to a historic stand-off between two superpowers while a frightened nation worried about a nuclear holocaust.5-STAR REVIEW: THE SHADOW OF WAR by Jeff Shaara