Bay of Pigs

Bay of Pigs Invasion

Bay of Pigs Invasion, 1961, an unsuccessful invasion of Cuba by Cuban exiles, supported by the U.S. government. On Apr. 17, 1961, an armed force of about 1,500 Cuban exiles landed in the Bahía de Cochinos (Bay of Pigs) on the south coast of Cuba. Trained since May, 1960, in Guatemala by members of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) with the approval of the Eisenhower administration, and supplied with arms by the U.S. government, the rebels intended to foment an insurrection in Cuba and overthrow the Communist regime of Fidel Castro. The Cuban army easily defeated the rebels and by Apr. 20, most were either killed or captured. The invasion provoked anti-U.S. demonstrations in Latin America and Europe and further embittered U.S.-Cuban relations. Poorly planned and executed, the invasion subjected President Kennedy to severe criticism at home. Cuban exile leader José Miró Cardona, president of the U.S.-based National Revolutionary Council, blamed the failure on the CIA and the refusal of Kennedy to authorize air cover for the invasion force, but perhaps more crucial was the fact that the uprising the exiles hoped and needed to spark did not happened. Much later it was revealed that the CIA task force planning the invasion had predicted that the invasion's goals unachievable without U.S. military involvement; it is unclear whether Kennedy or CIA chief Allen Dulles knew of the assessment. In Dec., 1962, Castro released 1,113 captured rebels in exchange for $53 million in food and medicine raised by private donations in the United States.

See K. E. Meyer and T. Szulc, The Cuban Invasion (1962); H. B. Johnson, The Bay of Pigs (1964).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Bay of Pigs: Selected full-text books and articles

The Bay of Pigs
Howard Jones.
Oxford University Press, 2008
Intelligence Intervention in the Politics of Democratic States: The United States, Israel, and Britain
Uri Bar-Joseph.
Pennsylvania State University Press, 1995
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 6 "Alteration of Means: The CIA and the Bay of Pigs"
The Rise and Decline of Fidel Castro: An Essay in Contemporary History
Maurice Halperin.
University of California Press, 1972
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 9 "Prelude to the Bay of Pigs" and Chap. 10 "A Fierce Battle and a Rare Celebration"
America's International Relations since World War I
Wesley M. Bagby.
Oxford University Press, 1999
Librarian’s tip: "The Bay of Pigs Invasion" begins on p. 223
Fidel Castro
Robert E. Quirk.
W. W. Norton, 1995
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 12 "The Bay of Pigs"
Kennedy's Wars: Berlin, Cuba, Laos, and Vietnam
Lawrence Freedman.
Oxford University Press, 2000
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 14 "A Deniable Plan"
The Hovering Giant: U.S. Responses to Revolutionary Change in Latin America, 1910-1985
Cole Blasier.
University of Pittsburgh Press, 1985 (Revised edition)
Librarian’s tip: "The Bay of Pigs" begins on p. 200
Where the Boys Are: Cuba, Cold War America and the Making of a New Left
Van Gosse.
Verso, 1993
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 7 "On the Beach"
What If They Gave a Crisis and Nobody Came? Interpreting International Crises
Ron Hirschbein.
Praeger Publishers, 1997
Librarian’s tip: "Crises In Practice: The Dark Night of The Soul" begins on p. 112
One Hell of a Gamble: Khrushchev, Castro, and Kennedy, 1958-1964
Aleksandr Fursenko; Timothy Naftali.
W. W. Norton, 1997
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 5 "Bay of Pigs"
We All Lost the Cold War
Richard Ned Lebow; Janice Gross Stein.
Princeton University Press, 1994
Librarian’s tip: "Focus on Castro" begins on p. 24
The United States and the Caribbean: Challenges of an Asymetrical Relationship
Anthony P. Maingot.
Westview Press, 1994
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of the Bay of Pigs begins on p. 101
Presidential Secrecy and Deception: Beyond the Power to Persuade
John M. Orman.
Greenwood Press, 1980
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of the Bay of Pigs begins on p. 67
Beyond the Bay of Pigs: The Cuban Volunteer Program and the Reorientation of Anti-Castroism
Bass, Jeffrey D.
The Historian, Vol. 62, No. 2, Winter 2000
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