Richard Melson

July 2006

Suez Crisis: Book

Dear Richard Melson

July 26th sees the 50th anniversary of Gamal Abdul Nasser's nationalisation of the Suez Canal Company. The resulting Suez Crisis would eventually topple the Eden government, confirm Britain's declining world power and mark the start of America's intervening role in Middle East affairs. Keith Kyle's acclaimed and epic history of events is still regarded as the best.

'the definite work on the subject ... easily surpasses all earlier accounts' – Anthony Howard, TLS

On 26 July 1956, Egyptian President Gamal Abdul Nasser nationalised the Suez Canal Company, until then jointly owned by Britain and France. The British government led by Anthony Eden, and many in Britain, considered this to be a test case for Britain's standing as a world power. The country’s prestige was already sadly in decline and ‘one last stand’ was essential. But there was another crucial factor: the Suez Canal was the ‘swing-door of the British Empire’ through which flowed oil - the life-blood of Britain and the West.

To unseat Nasser and to restore their control over the Canal, the British and the French colluded with Israel in mounting a military campaign against Egypt. It ended in political disaster. The US, alarmed at the imperialistic pretensions of its two principal European allies, decisively forced their ignominous withdrawal. Britain’s humiliation confirmed its decline as a leading world power. For the protagonists, Eden's political career was finished, French premier Guy Mollet offered to resign because of ‘British capitulation’ and Nasser was triumphant. He had withstood the ‘Triple Aggression’, he was feted throughout the Arab world and was confirmed in Egypt as El Ra’is - the Leader. For the Americans, their intervention heralded a dominating role in the affairs of the Middle East.

This book, now accepted as the classic, seminal account of one of the 20th century’s defining turning points, has been revised and updated in a new paperback edition.

Maps and Illustrations



1. Swing-Door of the British Empire

2. A Jewish State

3. Eden and Nasser

4. Arms and the Dam

5. Turning against Nasser

6. Code-Word 'De Lesseps'

7. Plotting Nasser's Downfall

8. A Matter of Timetables

9. Musketeer

10. The First London Conference

11. Keightley in Command

12. The Birth of SCUA

13. Musketeer Revise

14. The Israeli Factor

15. Taking it to the UN

16. Two Frenchmen at Chequers

17. Sèvres, Conference of Collusion 18. A Parachute Drop at the Mitla

19. Ultimatum

20. The Die is Cast

21. World Opinion Speaks

22. France's War

23. Slow March to Suez

24. The Empires Strike Back. Phase I: 5 November 1956

25. The Empires Strike Back. Phase II: 6 November 1956

26. Picking up the Pieces

27. Forced to Quit

28. Last Stands and New Doctrine

29. The End of the Suez Conflict

30. Suez 1991-2001

31. Epilogue






`a superb account...that rare thing: a compelling read that will also serve to define the context for all future scholarship on the subject' – The Economist

`has the quality of making everything that has come before ... look like a pamphlet off the top of a partisan's head' – Roy Jenkins in The Sunday Times

`A classic ...' – Professor Wm Roger Louis


Keith Kyle, the distinguished historian and broadcaster, has drawn on a wealth of fresh documentary sources to tell this remarkable political, diplomatic and military story and bring this edition fully up to date.

PAPERBACK, ISBN 1860648118, 228x152mm, 704 pages


Buy NOW for only £14.59 + P&P, RRP £19.99

Offer ends August 24th 2006. Click HERE to find out more

This offer is only available through our website

Suez Crisis, July 26th 1956

I.B.Tauris Publishers

Mon, 24 Jul 2006