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    The Madman Theory

    THE MADMAN THEORY is an alternate history novel about the Cuban Missile Crisis. On September 17, 2012, Rosemoor Press published this fresh take on the crisis by Harvey Simon to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the most dangerous week the world has ever known.

    In this retelling, Sen. John F. Kennedy loses the 1960 presidential election to his young opponent, Vice President Richard M. Nixon.  Two years later the Soviets are caught building a secret nuclear missile base in Cuba and President Nixon faces the same decision Kennedy confronted – whether to bomb the launching sites and invade the island.

    As the confrontation between the US and its nuclear foe spirals out of control, Pat Nixon struggles to reconcile her strong sense of a wife’s proper role with her marriage to a man who abuses her and has thrust her into a public life she despises and the two confront their longstanding grievances.

    Harvey Simon is a freelance writer living in Washington, DC.  His writing has appeared in The Los Angels Times and The Boston Globe Sunday Magazine.  Before moving to Washington he was a national security analyst at Harvard University, where he also wrote on a variety public policy topics.  He received his undergraduate degree from Cornell University and has an M.A. in philosophy from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.


    Op-ed on History News Service Website

    As North Korea's Kim Jong-un escalated his stand off with the U.S. and S. Korea, I kept thinking of how the madman theory has deep roots in the Korean peninsula.  After all, that's where Nixon got the idea -- when he visited Korea as vice president on a mission for Eisenhower.  This is all spelled out in an op-ed that's available on the History News Service.


    Radio Interview

    If you were in Wisconsin this morning and listening to NPR, you might have heard me talking about my novel, The Madman Theory, with Greg Berg, host of WGTD's Morning Show.  Didn't catch it? No problem. Follow this link to listen online. Berg calls the book "a novel of great subtlety," but you'll have to listen almost to the end of the 45-minute interview to hear the question this leads to. If you'd like to download an MP3 version to listen on the go, follow this link. (Click on "Greg Berg Morning Show" and the file will download to your computer's Downloads folder, or wherever such files wind up on PCs. Find it on your computer, click it, and it should open in iTunes.) 


    Florida Book Reading Scheduled

    Books & Books, in Coral Gables, Florida, has invited Harvey to a reading for his new novel, The Madman Theory, on October 4, 2012.  A Florida friend calls Books & Books "a truly amazing bookstore."  If you're in the area, please stop by.  Or, if you have family or friends in that part of Florida, let them know!


    Missile Crisis Followed JFK Blunder

    If President Kennedy had used the US Navy to back up the CIA-trained exiles who invaded Cuba in '62 at the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis would never have occurred.  Castro would have fallen and there would be a government friendly to the U.S. in Havana.  All of the Havana-Moscow dynamics that were part of Khrushchev's decision to send offensive nuclear missiles to Cuba would have been upset.

    In the Madman Theory, Nixon is president instead of JFK and RN uses a different strategy when he launches what we know as the Bay of Pigs invasion.  (For one thing, the landing site is not changed to the Bay of Pigs from Trinidad, as it was under Kennedy's presidency.)  Yet, circumstances are not sufficiently different from those that pertained under Kennedy to change Khrushchev's calculation.


    Cold War Museum Book Signing

    The Cold War Museum and the Department of History and Art History at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA, will host a conference to mark the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis.  Sergei Khrushchev, son of the Soviet Premier, will be giving the keynote address.

    Harvey Simon will join Khrushchev and others after the event for a book signing.

    Complete information about the event is available here.