Eisenhower 1956: The President’s Year of Crisis—Suez and the Brink of War
David A. Nichols. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2011. 368 pp. Intro. Prologue. Illus. Maps. Notes. $28.
Reviewed by Jeffrey R. Macris
The year 1956 proved a monumental one in the Middle East. After generations of Egyptian nationalist agitation, for the first time in more than seven decades British forces departed their enormous military reservation adjacent to the Suez Canal. In addition, after Egyptian leader Gamal Abdul Nasser had turned to the Soviet bloc for weapons the previous year, the flow of which the West had attempted to limit, the United States withdrew its offer to fund the proposed mammoth Aswan Dam project. Within days, this rebuff led Nasser to nationalize the Suez Canal, seizing the British and French concern that operated the waterway.