Episode 3: The Hour of Maximum Danger

October 26, 2023

About This Episode

In the summer of 1963, JFK arrived in a divided Germany with the recent construction of the new Berlin Wall nearly two years earlier. President John F. Kennedy spent his entire administration in a “twilight struggle” with the Soviet Union including averting possible total war during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. Historian Tim Naftali takes us from JFK’s Presidential Campaign to his final foreign trip to West Berlin. The Atlantic staff writer and Cold War expert Tom Nichols explains how JFK’s Cold War legacy has continued on through today.

View the transcript for this episode.

Related Material

Watch President Kennedy’s Speech at Rudolph Wilde Platz in West Berlin

View photos from President Kennedy’s final foreign trip to Germany

Read an archives blog post about the digitization of photos from President Kennedy’s Germany trip

Listen to the special podcast series on the Cuban Missile Crisis, Atomic Gambit

Learn about our guests Tim Naftali and Tom Nichols


Hosts and Producers: Matt Porter and Jamie Richardson

Supervising Producer: Valerie Linson

Director of Marketing: Rick King

Podcast Art: Brian Kang

Music: Premium Beat by Shutterstock