A lively, revelatory popular history that tells the story of both the Suez Crisis and the Hungarian Revolution of 1956--a tale of conspiracy and revolutions, spies and terrorists, kidnappings and assassination plots, the fall of the British Empire and the rise of American hegemony under the heroic leadership of President Dwight D.Read more...
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A lively, revelatory popular history that tells the story of both the Suez Crisis and the Hungarian Revolution of 1956--a tale of conspiracy and revolutions, spies and terrorists, kidnappings and assassination plots, the fall of the British Empire and the rise of American hegemony under the heroic leadership of President Dwight D. Eisenhower--which shaped the Middle East and Europe we know today.
The year 1956 was a turning point in history. Over sixteen extraordinary days in October and November of that year, the twin crises involving Suez and Hungary pushed the world to the brink of a nuclear conflict and what many at the time were calling World War III. Blood and Sand delivers this story in an hour-by-hour account through a fascinating international cast of characters: Anthony Eden, the British prime minister, caught in a trap of his own making; Gamal Abdel Nasser, the bold young populist leader of Egypt; David Ben-Gurion, the aging Zionist hero of Israel; Guy Mollet, the bellicose French prime minister; and Dwight D. Eisenhower, the American president, torn between an old world order and a new one in the very same week that his own fate as president was to be decided by the American people.
This is a revelatory history of these dramatic events and people, for the first time setting both crises in the context of the global Cold War, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the treacherous power politics of imperialism and oil. Blood and Sand resonates strikingly with the problems of oil control, religious fundamentalism, and international unity that face the world today, and is essential reading for anyone concerned with the state of the modern Middle East and Europe.
Blood and Sand includes 25-30 black-and-white photographs.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-07-18
- Reviewer: Staff
British historian von Tunzelmann (Red Heat) skillfully and artfully integrates the complex, simultaneous Suez and Hungarian crises of 1956 into a single story of Cold War conflict as no one has before. Her day-by-day, sometimes hour-by-hour, staging of events and of the characters who caused and managed them is a deeply researched achievement. If there’s a pivot to the book, it’s U.K. Prime Minister Anthony Eden’s unhinged feelings about Egypt’s President Gamal Abdel Nasser, whose government seized and blocked the Suez Canal. But the Soviet-American military stakes were probably higher in Hungary, whose tragic fate was left to Soviet brutality. That neither crisis precipitated world war was thanks in large part to the Eisenhower administration’s determination, in the midst of Ike’s reelection campaign, not to aid Britain, France, and Israel in reversing Nasser’s canal seizure, and its less defensible decision to leave Hungary to its fate. Snappy prose and revealing evidence carry the often riveting story along. But it’s hard to find an argument, idea, or interpretation anywhere in the book—that is, to learn von Tunzelmann’s considered views. If fact-filled narrative were all there was to historical writing, this book would be unsurpassed; history being more than chronicle, the book suffers as a result. (Oct.)