Link this with Delesseps of by C. Beatty (Harper) for essential background material for the study of today's smoldering volcano of the Middle East. Long- good is a competent reporter; for the World Tele and Sun he has covered some of the big stories of the decade of his experience. In 1955 he was sent to the Middle East -- and won the reputation from both Arab and Jew of bias in favor of the other! Fair evidence of impartiality. But this is not an ""opinion book"". Rather it is a succinct presentation of the history of the canal, stemming back to the Pharaohs, carrying through the de Lesseps dream and accomplishment, weighing the issues, the problems, the international aspects- and the steps by which Britain, bitter in its opposition, ultimately became the dominant factor in Egypt and in the vast Suex Canal Company. The intricate operation of the Canal, the financial aspects, the phases of nationalism that were closely linked with the Canal as symbol and actuality, all this is part of the story. The last part covers- without attempting to tell the whole story- the explosive drama of the Israel war, the British-French invasion- and the aftermath in which Nasser, who was defeated spectacularly, was allowed to stage a comeback that has left him arbiter of the Canal and triumphant over the Western nations, and has given Soviet Russia the place in the Middle East for which it has been striving for 200 years. This is a bluntly critical book, of administration policies in the area, and puts blame for much of what has happened on our doorstep. It is not a brilliant piece of journalism, but a useful and competent survey.