In August 1962, the young 45 years old American President Kennedy was on vacation reading a book that would literary save the world from nuclear war two months later.
The book is ‘Guns of August’. The main story of the book is how European leaders at the beginning of the 20th century sleep walked into the most deadly war of the time, Great War, without anyone of them really wiling to go to war.
After reading that book, Kennedy vowed never take any easy decision to start a war by falling like the Europeans leaders of world war 1.
Two months later the Cuban missile crisis started. Kennedy opposed most its war cabinet decisions, and chose a path of resistance to krouchtchev without triggering what would be a nuclear war. He refused to listen the generals and leverage schelling Rand corporations game theories to outsmart the soviets.
He kept reminding himself about the pitfalls of the guns of August.
It’s often that in business or personal level we sleep walk into jobs, carriers, couple, relationships without really being mindful of ourselves and our bigger goals.
The guns of August must be a good read for people curious about human fallibility in big historic events and how to be more aware and more purposeful.