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Back Channel

Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
Back Channel
"An amalgam of fact and fiction about a young black woman on whom the outcome of the Cuban Missile Crisis depends. October 1962. In Cuba: Soviet ships off-load what intelligence reveals to be nuclear missiles. In Washington, President Kennedy and his advisers are in furious debate over how long they can wait to discover what the Soviets intend before dropping the first bomb. And, in Ithaca, New York, Margo Jensen-a nineteen-year-old Cornell sophomore-is swept up in a "bizarre concatenation of circumstances" that will make of her the "back channel" liaison between Soviet Premier Khrushchev and Kennedy. Events unfold too quickly for her even to ask "why me?" But the stunning answer is revealed bit by bit as she races from Ithaca to Bulgaria to Washington, D.C., drawn ever more deeply into the crossfire-figurative and literal-of infighting between governmental agencies, both American and Soviet; into the confidence and-unsettlingly-the affection of the president of the United States; into desperate negotiations to avoid nuclear war; and, finally, into the secrets of the extraordinary legacy-of honor and bravery-she inherited from the father she never knew"-- Provided by publisher.

Publisher: New York :, Alfred A. Knopf,, 2014
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 0385349602 (hardback)
9780385349604 (hardback)
Branch Call Number: FIC CARTER
Characteristics: 455 pages ; 25 cm


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Feb 07, 2015
  • athena14 rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

I found Margo's story fascinating. The endless debates between the men (only men, mind you) in power bored me. This despite my memory of that time and how frightened I was.


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