The improbable triumvirate: John F. Kennedy, Pope John, Nikita Khrushchev 1 edition
From the book's dust jacket:
The Improbable Triumvirate
An Asterisk to the History of a Hopeful Year, 1962-1963
For thirteen months—beginning with the resolution of the Cuban
missile crisis in October 1962 and ending with the assassination
of President John F. Kennedy in November 1963—a new spirit of
optimism was at work in the world. The dramatic end of that
crisis signaled an upturn in the prospects for peace. Three men
came to symbolize these new prospects—President Kennedy, Nikita
Khrushchev, and Pope John.
This book deals with some of the little-known footnotes to the
history of that hopeful year, especially as it bears upon the
interaction of the three leaders. It is mostly a human-interest
story, for it shows what great changes can come about in the
world when leaders look beyond ideological dogma and national
interest to human interest, and when they are willing to assume
political risks in the pursuit of peace.
The book tells of some remarkable exchanges between Pope John and
Premier Khrushchev. It was the Pope who took the initiative in
establishing direct contacts between the Vatican and the Kremlin.
A specific result of this was the release, after years of
internment, of two archbishops. Mr. Cousins was chosen as an
emissary of the Vatican to negotiate the release. During this
time, President Kennedy asked Mr. Cousins to play a role in the
preliminary negotiations for an agreement to halt testing of
nuclear weapons. The book deals with the role of public opinion
in making the nuclear test-ban treaty possible. As an outgrowth
of the experiences related here, Mr. Cousins was asked by the
president to work on the campaign for ratification of the treaty.
This book provides an account of that work.
Norman Cousins is currently editor of World, a new magazine
providing global coverage of ideas and the arts, which began
publication in June 1972.
A graduate of Columbia University, he became editor of *Saturday
Review* in 1940, a position he held for more than thirty years. He
is President of the World Association of World Federalists, which
is working for world peace through world law, and Honorary
President of World Federalists, U.S.A.
Mr. Cousins has been the recipient of numerous awards given for
his contributions to American education and to world peace,
including the Peace Medal of the United Nations awarded by U
Thant. In 1963, he received the personal medallion of Pope John
XXIII for his part in the successful negotiations with Premier
Khrushchev leading to the release from prison of Cardinal Josyf
Slipyi of the Ukraine and Archbishop J. Beran of Czechoslovakia.
In 1963, Mr. Cousins served as cochairman of the Citizens'
Committee for a Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, formed at President
Kennedy's request to organize public support for the U.S.
Senate's ratification of the test-ban treaty. He is the author of
many books in which he has written extensively of his ardent
interests in education, the environment, and the need for a new
approach to world problems based on human interest.
Mr. Cousins and his wife live in New Canaan, Connecticut. They
have five daughters, including an adopted daughter from
on Mr. Khrushchev to adopt a hard line.
The President said: "One of the ironic things about this entire
situation is that Mr. Khrushchev and I occupy approximately the
same political positions inside our governments. He would like to
prevent a nuclear war but is under severe pressure from his
hard-line crowd, which interprets every move in that direction as
appeasement. I've got similar problems. Meanwhile, the lack of
progress in reaching agreements between our two countries gives
strength to the hard-line boys in both, with the result that the
hard-liners in the Soviet Union and the United States feed on one
another, each using the actions of the other to justify its own
I told the President that the evidence seemed to suggest that a
political crisis was developing inside the Soviet Union, and that
the test ban might be something of a pivotal issue....
There was some indication, I told the President, that the Chinese
had already written off the chances for successful completion of
a test-ban treaty. The present impasse, now being exploited in
their propaganda, had apparently convinced them there would be no
The President said he recognized the complexities of
Chinese-Russian relations. Some things were beyond our reach or
our power. But one thing that might be within reach was improved
In that case, I said, perhaps what was needed was a breathtaking
new approach toward the Russian people, calling for an end to the
cold war and a fresh start in American-Russian relationships.
Such an approach might recognize the implications of a world that
had become a single unit, however disorganized; it might
recognize, too, that the old animosities could become the fuse of
The President lit a thin cigar and said he would like to think
about it. He asked me to prepare a memorandum for him on the
The improbable triumvirate: John F. Kennedy, Pope John, Nikita Khrushchev.
W. W. Norton
Written in English.
Dewey Decimal Class
Library of Congress
|D843 .C63 1972|
The Physical Object
Number of pages
History Created December 10, 2009 ·
|March 13, 2016||Edited by David T. Ratcliffe||Added new cover|
|March 13, 2016||Edited by David T. Ratcliffe||Update covers|
|March 13, 2016||Edited by David T. Ratcliffe||added book excerpt high-lighting the significance of what Norman Cousins recounts in this remarkable Asterisk to the History of a Hopeful Year, 1962-1963|
|March 13, 2016||Edited by David T. Ratcliffe||added dusk jacket text|
|December 10, 2009||Created by WorkBot||add works page|