‘Kennedy’s Road to the White House: Intelligence Failures and the Missile Gap'

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


They were an unconventional, yet effective bunch at RAND. Over time, they would become known as the ‘Megadeath Intellectuals’ and they would go head to head with belligerent generals, blustering politicians, and indecisive presidents, fighting to bring America back from the brink of nuclear disaster. They would even help support the young, ambitious senator, John F. Kennedy, helping him rise to power. In turn, they would also be afforded positions of privilege and influence. By 1960, as one journalist remarked, the RAND cohort moved 'freely through the corridors of the Pentagon and the State Department rather as the Jesuits through the courts of Madrid and Vienna three centuries ago’. And so, this chapter tells their story, but also a relevant and important history that reveals the stories of some of the unsung figures from JFK’s road to the White House.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInsights for Our Time: The Diary of JFK
Publication statusSubmitted - 2022


  • Cold War
  • JFK
  • Strategy
  • RAND
  • Nuclear Strategy

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