I was watching a 50th anniversary special on the Cuban Missile Crises presented by CSPAN3 (where else) yesterday. I found it very interesting with new information recently declassified. I do encourage you to listen to President Kennedy's speech at the American University Commencement after the missile crises. He changed: he identifies globalization, he seems to put human interests, at the very least, on the same level as national interest, he recognizes in this new world of mutually shared destruction that the United States can no longer control events. All these insights stemmed from the 1962 missile crises and still apply today, although the faux toughness of our politicians doesn't seem encourage a 'lessons learned' mindset.
The crises lasted 13 days and this was a blessing as it allowed the "two adults in the room" to avert nuclear war. Those two adutls were Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviet Premier, and President Kennedy. If you have the time watch the CSPAN3 program and then read the American University Commencement speech.