Eisenhower 1956: The President’s Year of Crisis—Suez and the Brink of War

Andrew Bacevich writes:

David Nichols has written a slight, narrowly focused book that provides modest but not inconsequential insight into the origins of America’s involvement in the Greater Middle East. His focus is the Suez Crisis, or more specifically, the way Eisenhower’s administration first contributed to and then helped resolve that crisis. Its value lies not in its intended purpose – Nichols is an Eisenhower fan, taken by what he calls ‘a virtuoso presidential performance’ that ‘averted global war’ – but in its illustration of the hallmarks of US policy in the Middle East since World War Two: naivety compounded by miscalculation and domestic self-interest, creating situations that Washington attempts to redeem by plunging deeper into only dimly understood conflicts.

(LRB 16 June 2011)