THE REAL SUEZ CRISIS by Jacques Georges-Picot


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It is just as well that Jacques Georges-Picot did not write what the promotion material claims he wrote: the history of the Suez Canal crisis of 1956, about which there are three dozen scholarly monographs. He wrote instead a personal account of the role of Compagnie Universelle du Canal Maritime de Suez in the 1956 affair. This he is qualified to do since he was a high official. His work is both a memoir of the company that ran the canal and a record of his activities on its behalf. He eulogizes the 87-year-old corporation, and condemns those countries which allowed or brought on its demise: the United States (""the Eisenhower-Dulles team"") for indirectly encouraging Egypt (Gamal Abd-al Nasser) to nationalize the company, and Britain (Sir Anthony Eden) and France (Guy Mollet and Christian Pineau) for abandoning it. Georges-Picot seems to be more concerned about the rights of the company's shareholders and the canal's international navigators than about the national interests and politics of half a dozen involved countries. That is not unusual, however. Officials often view international events through the narrow prisms of their positions. Consequently, Georges-Picot's memoir tells us little about the Suez Canal crisis, but a lot--of limited interest--about his company's role in it.

Pub Date: Feb. 7th, 1977
Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich