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Origins of the Suez Crisis

, 280 pages
May 2013



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Origins of the Suez Crisis

Postwar Development Diplomacy and the Struggle over Third World Industrialization, 1945–1956

Origins of the Suez Crisis describes the long run-up to the 1956 Suez Crisis and the crisis itself by focusing on politics, economics, and foreign policy decisions in Egypt, Britain, the United States, and the Soviet Union. Based on Arabic source material, as well as multilingual documents from Israeli, Soviet, Czech, American, Indian, and British archives, this is the first historical narrative to discuss the interaction among all of the players involved—rather than simply British and U.S. perspectives.

Guy Laron highlights the agency of smaller players and shows how they used Cold War rivalries to advance their own economic circumstances and, ultimately, their status in the global order. He argues that, for developing countries and the superpowers alike, more was at stake than U.S.-USSR one-upmanship; the question of Third World industrialization was seen as crucial to their economies.

Guy Laron is a lecturer at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

"Laron’s research really is a multilingual tour de force."

"Scholars of political economy, U.S. foreign relations, Middle East history, and international relations will find much food for thought here, as well as clear proof of the value of the new Cold War history's efforts to see the post-World War II period as more than merely the East-West struggle."

"It is a brave researcher who undertakes to re-examine a well-known story... Guy Laron sees potential for reinterpretation, casting his works as part of a strain of 'New Cold War History' that emphasises the viewpoints of smaller regional actors and economic factors in motivating diplomacy... Scholars of the early Cold War, development diplomacy, and the history of the Modern Middle East will find thought-provoking ideas in this text."

"Laron brings to the crisis an deft hand and a careful eye for detail."

"In sum, Laron has produced a lively study... his work is to be commended."

"Guy Laron offers a refreshing interpretation of the dramatic events of 1956 in his highly revealing Origins of the Suez Crisis: Postwar Development Diplomacy and the Struggle over Third World Industrialization, 1945–1956. Drawing on a rich collection of documentation from Israeli, British, Russian, U.S., Czech, and Indian archives, as well as Arabic source material, Laron moves beyond the U.S. and British narratives and instead roots the Suez Crisis in post-war debates about Third World industrialization and globalization... Laron offers as close to an international history as we may get on the Suez Crisis and his use of 'industrialization' as a model will challenge historians to use his lends to examine several other Cold War and Middle Eastern crises."

"Guy Laron's study of the origins of the Suez crisis is interesting, original, and based on an impressive variety of sources in multiple languages. Laron's most important contribution is to underscore the importance of economic factors in the global competition between the Soviet Union and the United States for power, legitimacy, and resources."

"Guy Laron's Origins of the Suez Crisis: Postwar Development Diplomacy and the Struggle over Third World Industrialization, 1945–1956 makes a compelling case... Laron adopts a gaze both long and wide, expanding the story of Suez in time as well as space in what are ultimately mutually reinforcing ways and making excellent use of political science's sectoral conflict theory that considers foreign policy decisions as products of competing domestic societal pressures."

"Guy Laron's new book Origins of the Suez Crisis is remarkable both for its extraordinary array of archival sources and for its wide-ranging argument and analysis... We can hope that in the future, Laron will continue to explore the international history of the Middle East and will provide even more insights into the Israeli side of the story."

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