Paid Advertisement
Historynet/feed historynet feedback facebook link Weider History Group RSS feed Weider Subscriptions Historynet Home page

Book Review: Decision for Disaster: Betrayal at the Bay of Pigs (Grayston L. Lynch) : MHQ

Originally published on HistoryNet.com. Published Online: August 12, 2001 
Print Friendly
1 comment FONT +  FONT -


Decision for Disaster: Betrayal at the Bay of Pigs, by Grayston L. Lynch, Brassey's, $24.95.

A bang-up military adventure story, this book also contains a bitter, intriguing all-out attack on President John F. Kennedy and his handling of the ill-fated attempt to overthrow Fidel Castro's Cuban regime in April 1961.

The author was one of two American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officers who went ashore with the fifteen hundred-man brigade of Cuban exiles at the Bay of Pigs. He was also the first to pull a trigger in the aborted effort and a key witness in the Kennedy administration's secret post-debacle review. The book grabs and retains the reader's attention with fast-paced action, convincing tactical commentary, tales of bravery, a few accounts of cowardice, and the story of a brutal, tragic end to the enterprise.

The second half of the book is intensely interesting but becomes overblown. It is a point-by-point refutation of three accounts of the operation: two by Kennedy administration apologists–Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., and Theodore Sorensen–and the third by newsman Haynes Johnson. Here, Lynch attempts to demonstrate how after President Kennedy took the blame for the disaster, his political aides began a successful and deceitful campaign to lay the mess at the feet of the CIA and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He cites a number of widely held views that still exist about Bay of Pigs, common perspectives that were fabricated by Kennedy's lieutenants. Lynch then attacks each one in turn. For example, Lynch proves the operational scheme was Kennedy's own, not the Eisenhower administration's. He shows that Kennedy then changed his own plan (considered marginal at best by the Joint Chiefs) by reducing critical pre-invasion air sorties by some 76 percent–without consulting or even informing his own military advisers. And the author tells of Kennedy aides lying to former president Eisenhower about the operation, thereby provoking the old soldier to condemn the CIA. All of this shocking portion of the book is written convincingly.

Unfortunately, Lynch does not stop there. He attempts to claim the operation had a chance of overthrowing Fidel Castro's Marxist regime if only the originally planned eighty pre-invasion air sorties had been flown. And he fails to take CIA leaders to task for not recommending cancellation of the operation the minute they learned of Kennedy's drastic cut in the number of air sorties planned. Grayston Lynch should have stopped while he was ahead.

However imperfect, this is a thought-provoking book and is highly recommended.

Rod Paschall



One Response to “Book Review: Decision for Disaster: Betrayal at the Bay of Pigs (Grayston L. Lynch) : MHQ”


  1. 1
    Michael says:

    After 50 years the vermin are coming out into the daylight and asking for our understanding. Go ahead Grayston tell exactly how much of a traitor was JFK and tell us why it was necessary and just to massacre our President on a city street. Come on Grayston we are ready to listen and understand you poor CIA patriots.



Leave a Reply

Human Verification: In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


Related Articles


History Net Images Spacer
Paid Advertisement
Paid Advertisement
History Net Daily Activities
History net Spacer
History net Spacer
Historynet Spacer
HISTORYNET READERS' POLL

Which of these wars resulted in the most surprising underdog upset?

View Results | See previous polls

Loading ... Loading ...
History net Spacer
STAY CONNECTED WITH US
RSS Feed Daily Email Update
History net Spacer History net Spacer
Paid Advertisement

Paid Advertisement
What is HistoryNet?

The HistoryNet.com is brought to you by the Weider History Group, the world's largest publisher of history magazines. HistoryNet.com contains daily features, photo galleries and over 5,000 articles originally published in our various magazines.

If you are interested in a specific history subject, try searching our archives, you are bound to find something to pique your interest.

From Our Magazines
Weider History Group

Weider History Network:  HistoryNet | Armchair General | Achtung Panzer! | StreamHistory.com
Today in History | Ask Mr. History | Picture of the Day | Daily History Quiz | Contact Us

Copyright © 2013 Weider History Group. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.
Advertise With Us | Subscription Help | Privacy Policy