Initially I found this book daunting. The book's girth alone is intimidating; it weighs in at 579 pages. Once I got past the length of the book and past the idea that the book's topic would be unapproachable, and I began to read, I found the book to be everything a person wants in a good nonfiction book. The book was well researched. The subject was fresh. The writing was inviting. And the story itself had a compelling pull on the reader; of course we know the world didn't blow up in Berlin of 1961, but it was breathtaking to walk with the author as Kennedy and Khruschev taunted each other to throw the first punch.