Ernest May

Ernest R. May is the Charles Warren Professor of American History at Harvard University and a former consultant to the joint chiefs of staff. His books include American Cold War Strategy and Strange Victory: Hitler's Conquest of France.

Recent Articles

Thirteen Days in 145 Minutes

When I learned that Thirteen Days, the new movie dramatizing the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, would follow events through the eyes of Kenneth O'Donnell, John F. Kennedy's appointments secretary--who would be played by the movie's headliner, Kevin Costner--I had strong misgivings. In 1997 I had transcribed and edited (with Philip Zelikow of the University of Virginia) some of the tape recordings made secretly by JFK--and nothing in these tapes, in other documents, or in the recollections of Kennedy's key advisers gives O'Donnell an important or even conspicuous role in the crisis.