The superpower rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union was central to the foreign policy of the administration of President Kennedy. The threat of Soviet expansion and subversion of areas and relationships vital to the security interests and well-being of the United States was the preeminent concern of the President and U.S. foreign policymakers. The perceived need to counter aggressive Soviet communism around the world dominated American foreign policy and dwarfed other issues. The editors have sought to present in this volume all the correspondence between President Kennedy and Chairman Khrushchev. They have included the written messages exchanged directly between the two leaders through the Soviet Embassy in Washington or the American Embassy in Moscow. Also included are those oral messages the editors have identified that were conveyed to the President from the Chairman through an intermediary and reduced to a written record as well as the earliest exchanges between President-elect Kennedy and Chairman Khrushchev and Mrs. Kennedy's personal message to the Chairman after the assassination of the President.