In recent years British and American archives on the Suez period have been opened, and a new wave of scholarship has resulted. This commendable effort concentrates on the precursors to Suez with emphasis on the quite different approaches to the region found in Whitehall and Washington. Eisenhower and Dulles are shown to have developed a fairly sophisticated, if ultimately unsuccessful, policy to tackle simultaneously the problems of decolonization, regional security and the Arab-Israeli conflict. The author occasionally strays from his evidence and seems to believe that Eisenhower would have done better to have reached an accommodation with Nasser, but he never shows convincingly how that could have been done. Yet by tracing the seeds of the Suez debacle back to 1953 and explaining coherently the links between the Suez base negotiations, Project ALPHA, the Baghdad Pact, the Aswan decision and Project OMEGA, this book breaks new ground.
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