Over forty months have passed since the Cuban Missiles Crisis went horribly wrong in a world in which the ‘swinging sixties’ never happened.
In America the Administration is mired in domestic scandals and an unwinnable proxy war with both China and Russia in Korea; in England the first post-war elected Government finds itself inexorably drawn into unwanted ‘foreign imbroglios’ when it desperately wants to focus on matters at home.
1965 ought to be the year reconstruction begins in earnest, the year when finally peace ought to be breaking out but it as if everything is on hold. The worst is over…or is it?
Russia and China are closed books to what remains of the West and the old bulwark between the Communist and Capitalist worlds – Europe – lies mostly in ruins leaving Britain and its Commonwealth allies holding the ring everywhere except in the Far East.
And just below the surface dangerous tensions lurk wherever one looks. The canker of the Kingdom of Wisconsin is a haven for religious zealotry in the heart of the Midwest. In the South Atlantic there is an uneasy undeclared ceasefire. Refugees from the chaos in France pour across the English Channel. The Mediterranean is a cauldron of past and present religious and ethnic rivalries, and the Middle East a patchwork of unlikely war-driven alliances. India and Pakistan are at war in Kashmir. And all the while the United States and Britain tiptoe around each other, unreconciled, mistrustful each fearful that they might be only one or two missteps away from another disastrous misunderstanding.
British and American leaders brood on past betrayals; separated by their shared language. So much is lost in translation; and so much blood has been spilled…
Everybody wants to believe that 1965 will be the year the foundations of the new era will be laid but tacitly, they know that they will have to wait and hope for 1966 & all that…
In the meantime what new disasters will afflict the survivors?