Eisenhower 1956 is the gripping story of how President Dwight D. Eisenhower guided the United States through the Suez Canal crisis, the most dangerous international crisis of his presidency.
In 1956, more than two thirds of Western Europe’s oil supplies transited the Suez Canal. When the United States withdrew its offer to finance the Aswan Dam, Egypt’s president, Gamal Abdel Nasser, nationalized the canal. Without Eisenhower’s knowledge, Britain and France secretly plotted with Israel to invade Egypt and topple Nasser. In a tumultuous nine-day period just prior to the 1956 presidential election, Great Britain, France, and Israel invaded Egypt while the Soviet Union ruthlessly crushed rebellion in Hungary and threatened to intervene in Egypt. The dramatic climax came on Election Day, November 6, 1956.
Eisenhower 1956 is the first trade book on the Suez Crisis in thirty years. Since then, hundreds of critical documents have been declassified. Nichols uses those records to enable the reader to look over Ike’s shoulder and follow him day by day, sometimes hour by hour as he courageously confronts a crisis that threatened to escalate into global conflict—all while recovering from two major illnesses and battling to win a second term in the White House.
In the wake of the Suez crisis, the United States replaced Great Britain as the guarantor of stability in the Middle East. More than a half-century later, that commitment remains the cornerstone of American policy in the region.