Descent to Suez: Diaries, 1951-56

Evelyn Schuckburhg, Author, E. S. Shuckburgh, Author, John Charmley, Editor W. W. Norton & Company $24.95 (380p) ISBN 978-0-393-02414-2
Shuckburgh was Anthony Eden's private secretary and closest diplomatic assistant from 195154. The first half of the diaries includes new material concerning the British foreign secretary's contributions at the Geneva Conference on Indochina. The second half deals with Shuckburgh's experiences as undersecretary in charge of Middle East affairs at the Foreign Office and his direct involvement in events leading up to the Suez crisis in 1956. He has much to say about the process by which the British came to terms with their reduced postwar status and the breakdown of Anglo-American cooperation over Suez. The diaries are an important footnote to history, especially for their delineation of the way Eden operated. (Shuckburgh regards him as a great foreign secretary.) The diarist's subjective comments on world leaders and politicians are illuminating and often delightful in a wicked sort of way. (Lord Mountbatten is described as ""full of undigested bright ideas and is really a simpleton though very nice.'') Photos. (February 23)
Reviewed on: 03/31/1987
Release date: 04/01/1987
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