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Decolonizing the Cuban Missile Crisis

Mark Laffey, Jutta Weldes
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2478.2008.00515.x 555-577 First published online: 1 September 2008

Abstract

Postcolonial scholars show how knowledge practices participate in the production and reproduction of international hierarchy. A common effect of such practices is to marginalize Third World and other subaltern points of view. For three decades, analysis of the Cuban missile crisis was dominated by a discursive framing produced in the ExComm, one in which Cuba was invisible. The effort to produce a critical oral history enabled Cuban voices—long excluded from interpretive debates about the events of October 1962—to challenge the myth of the crisis as a superpower affair. Despite the oral history project's postcolonial intervention, however, and greater attention to Cuba's role in the crisis, this framing persists and is reproduced in the micro-practices of scholarship. Decolonizing the crisis, and by extension the discipline itself, is not easy to do.

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