Front cover image for Dawn over Suez : the rise of American power in the Middle East, 1953-1957

Dawn over Suez : the rise of American power in the Middle East, 1953-1957

No event in post-World War II diplomacy has been more written about than the Suez crisis of 1956--and for good reason: it ruptured the Atlantic alliance and signaled the fall of British power and influence in the Middle East. But most accounts, based on limited information, have focused on the invasion of Suez--maneuvered by collusion between Britain, Prance, and Israel--as the turning point in Washington's break with London and the United States' assumption of power in the region. Now, using recently opened British records and the most up-to-date U.S. sources, Steven Freiberger has written the most definitive account to date of the Suez affair. His book is rich with fresh interpretations based on new evidence. Mr. Freiberger argues that the Suez crisis was only the culmination of years of American irritation with British imperialism in the Middle East. The Eisenhower administration, he shows, began in 1953 to develop a coherent strategy to reduce tensions in the region by allaying Arab fears of British colonialism. As Eisenhower's secretary of state, John Foster Dulles pursued these ends, walking a diplomatic tightrope between domestic politics and his British allies. When the Suez crunch came, in the midst of Eisenhower's 1956 reelection campaign, the president was blazing mad and worked behind the scenes to pressure Anthony Eden's removal as British prime minister. Ultimately Mr. Freiberger writes, American strategy failed. It alienated the Arabs and permitted Soviet expansion in the Middle-East. With the announcement of the Eisenhower Doctrine in 1957--an American commitment to provide military and economic aid to any Middle Eastern nation that felt threatened by communism--U.S. policy became a device simply to replace the British and block Soviet expansion. Washington misjudged Arab nationalism, opening a vacuum in the region which Moscow used to its advantage. Dawn Over Suez is an important reappraisal of a critical period in American diplomacy and offers keys to understanding our present-day problems in the Middle East
Print Book, English, 1992
I.R. Dee, Chicago, 1992