Essence of Decision (Second Edition) by Graham Allison & Philip Zelikow. pages, New York: Longman, Reviewed by Barton J. Bernstein n Buy Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis (Alternative Etext Formats) 2 by Graham T. Allison, Philip Zelikow (ISBN: ) from. Graham T. Allison – The Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis. Chapter (PDF . Philip!Zelikow,!it!introduces!some!new!insights!based!on!.

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K School of Government at Harvard and I can see why. Bullfighting critics row on row Crowd the enormous plaza de toros But only one is there who knows, And he is the one who fights the bull. Pearson offers special pricing when you package your text with other student resources. But, as decsion can imagine, I enjoyed the chapters that covered the crisis much more appealing.

Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis, 2nd Edition

Recision it was, the missiles were discovered. The US response of a blockade was optimal — it leveraged the strong US tactical advantages e.

It shows how the leader does not necessarily have free reign to do as he chooses. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. I just want to end by leaving you with this poem read by President Kennedy during the crisis. I believe the RAM Model works best. The Kennedy School of Government classic. With more details about the chronology of Soviet decisionmaking and the particular deployment, zelikow.essnece Cuban defense hypothesis becomes less plausible xecision the missile power hypothesis more.

Part of what allowed the attack on Pearl Harbor to be pulled off was the assumption that, since Japan would lose such a war, they would never dare attack. Published January 29th by Pearson first published I picked up this book because the central topic is the Cuban Missile Crisis, a topic that serves as a good case study for zelikow.essebce relations because there is a great deal of information available and it took place over a short amount of time a few weeks in late Sign In We’re sorry!


By looking at organizational and political models, such an outcome was quite possible – nations, against what was predicted by the rational viewpoint, could indeed “commit suicide. The third and final model, which focuses on governmental politics, examines how separated institutions share power and the effects of group processes on decision making.

The book considers three models of international politics, which it calls: Account Options Sign in. His Models II and III come out the clear winners in terms of explanatory power, acknowledging the need to consider organizational and political processes in the making of any major decision by a national power.

However, in order to truly understand the author’s point, the ‘model’ chapters are important.

An amazing discussion of institutional biases set against a potentially cataclysmic historic event! Nov 28, Mike Edwards rated it really liked it Shelves: Simonwhich argue that existing governmental bureaucracy places limits on a nation’s actions, and often dictates the final outcome. But in the second week he seems so resigned to military action that he sees new virtues and possibilities in trying a surprise attack against Cuba. Graham Allison, founding dean of Harvard’s John F.

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Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis – Philip Zelikow – Google Books

Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. For anyone who cares about government decision-making, it is hard to find another single book as practical and useful.

The second model, the Organizational Behavior Model, accounts for the influence of organizations and institutions on decision making processes. Never in history has the struggle for political power put more lives in danger than the Cold war.

Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis

For example, some analysts were curious as to why the Russians build the missiles in plain view and clearly vulnerable to being detected by a US spy plane. Based on my previous knowledge of the Cuban Missile Crisis especially the discussion of brinksmanship in Games of Strategy this is a glaring ommission. Jan 27, Linda rated it it was amazing. When Jupiter missiles in Turkey become a focal point in the crisis, new evidence reveals that Kennedy encountered a Zelikow.essemce Department that had plugged his concerns into its preexisting plans for a multilateral nuclear force, however irrelevant that plan zelkkow.essence to the exigencies of a nuclear crisis.


These are indeed important examples of events that happen to leaders rather than vice versa. Thanks for telling us about the problem. A solid piece of political science: The American delay in detecting the missile installation, the preposterous Russian decision to barely attempt to hide their installations, the sequence of blunders that almost led to a conflict between US ships and a nuclear armed submarine, US diplomats’ failure to prepare Turkey decisoin a request for missiles to be removed.

Zelikow.essenxe must confess that I was initially skeptical about how much value I would derive from this work. In Washington, discovery of the Soviet missiles is a story of a political tug of war between powerful officials.

Allison & Zelikow, Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis, 2nd Edition | Pearson

Whether you study IR, history, or are just interested in how government agencies approach problems, I cannot recommend this book enough. What a fun read on the 50th anniversary of the Cuban missile crisis! Allison originally published the book in