"Thirteen Days": Comparing and Contrasting the Book and the Movie

Essay by ziggyzhangHigh School, 10th gradeA, August 2006

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"Thirteen Days", written by Robert F. Kennedy, is an account of the Cuban Missile Crisis based on the view of Robert F. Kennedy. This book contains Kennedy's thoughts about the Cuban Missile Crisis and the actions that he and the rest of the United States cabinet took to prevent a nuclear disaster and World War III. There is also a movie based on the book starring Kevin Costner. Most movies that are based on books are often exceeding inaccurate, due to Hollywood directors trying to "spice up" the movie. However, Thirteen Days is one of the few movies that are not wildly inaccurate. The movie contains several similarities with the book. However, the most important similarities are the series of events that led to the whole ordeal, the influence of Adlai Stevenson, and the compromise that the United States and the U.S.S.R made and how they reached this compromise.

The first major similarity is the series of events that led up to the ordeal. In the book, it starts off with a meeting of the President and most of the cabinet. It is almost the same in the movie. However, the movie starts off with the U-2 plane actually taking the pictures, which is not in the book. After the U-2 flight, the movie then joined the book, where the President and the cabinet met together for the briefing. After the meeting, everyone realized that the Soviet Union was lying about the whole situation. They were in fact transporting nuclear missiles to Cuba when they promised that they were not. Another similarity that ties into the events that led to the ordeal was the meeting between John F. Kennedy and Andrei Gromyko. They talked about the same subject, the Soviets helping the Cubans. Then, President Kennedy read out a...