October 1962. The Soviet Union has smuggled missiles into Cuba. Kennedy and Khrushchev are in the midst of a military face-off that could lead to nuclear conflagration. Warships and submarines are on the move. Planes are in the air. Troops are at the ready. Both leaders are surrounded by advisers clamoring for war. The only way for the two leaders to negotiate safely is to open a "back channel"--a surreptitious path of communication hidden from their own people. They need a clandestine emissary nobody would ever suspect. If the secret gets out, her life will be at risk . . . but they're careful not to tell her that.
Stephen L. Carter's gripping new novel, "Back Channel, " is a brilliant amalgam of fact and fiction--a suspenseful retelling of the Cuban Missile Crisis, in which the fate of the world rests unexpectedly on the shoulders of a young college student.
On the island of CuraCao, a visiting Soviet chess champion whispers state secrets to an American acquaintance.
In the Atlantic Ocean, a freighter struggles through a squall while trying to avoid surveillance.
And in Ithaca, New York, Margo Jensen, one of the few black women at Cornell, is asked to go to Eastern Europe to babysit a madman.
As the clock ticks toward World War III, Margo undertakes her harrowing journey. Pursued by the hawks on both sides, protected by nothing but her own ingenuity and courage, Margo is drawn ever more deeply into the crossfire--and into her own family's hidden past.
About the Author
Stephen L. Carter is the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law at Yale University.
Born in 1954 in Washington, D.C., Professor Carter was educated in the public schools of New York City, Washington, and Ithaca, New York. In 1976 he received his bachelor's degree with honors from Stanford University, where he majored in history, and in 1979 he received his law degree from the Yale Law School.
Following his graduation from law school, Professor Carter served as law clerk to Judge Spottswood W. Robinson III of the United States Court of Appeals in Washington D.C., and, the next year, as law clerk to Justice Thurgood Marshall of the Supreme Court of the United States. After practicing law for a year, Professor Carter joined the Yale faculty in 1982. Three years later, he became one of the youngest members of the faculty ever voted tenure.
His critically acclaimed books include The Culture of Disbelief and Reflections of an Affirmative Action Baby. He is currently at work on Civility, the sequel to Integrity. Professor Carter lives with his family in Connecticut.