SUEZ: Britain’s End of Empire in the Middle East (2003, 2nd edition) by Keith Kyle is arguably the definitive work on Suez. Kyle has created a sweeping portrait of the tangled historical forces, political pressures and vast cast of characters enmeshed in the crisis. Finely balanced, rich in detail and telling anecdotes without ever losing sight of the big picture, superbly written, it’s hard to see how this will ever be superseded. Kyle was writing for the Economist magazine at the height of the crisis and later produced several documentaries on Suez for the BBC.
Canada, the North Atlantic and the U.N. in “SUEZ 1956: The Crisis and Its Consequences.” Edited by Wm. Roger Louis and Roger Owen (1989). Professor Michael G. Fry’s essay is still the only detailed account of Pearson’s diplomacy throughout the summer of 1956 building up to the crisis in November. This article is absolutely essential for anyone interested in Pearson’s and Canada’s role in resolving the crisis.
Anthony Eden: A Life and Reputation (1997) by Professor David Dutton is an excellent examination and re-appraisal of Eden’s career –a necessary companion to the finely written official biography by Robert Rhodes James.
The much admired John Holmes was a diplomat at the Department of External Affairs. He served at Pearson’s right hand during the Suez Crisis and as well worked closely with Pearson on many other issues. His essay is one of the most perceptive and thoughtful studies of Pearson’s diplomatic touch. This long lost article was published in the International Journal in Spring 2007 and is reproduced with the kind permission of the Canadian Institute of International Affairs – which was founded in 1928 as a non-partisan forum for the study and discussion of Canadian foreign policy and international affairs.
Pearson’s work during the Suez Crisis is rightly seen as the pinnacle of Canadian diplomacy during our so-called Golden Age of Diplomacy. But did Canada really have such a glittering era? Greg Donaghy is Head of the Historical Section at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. He has written a provocative essay that challenges a widely held view of Canadian diplomacy during the 1940s and 1950s.
Pearson’s official biographer, Professor John English has written a superb essay on Pearson for the Dictionary of Canadian Biography which covers his life, diplomatic career and tenure as Prime Minister.
• PEARSON, LESTER BOWLES
The Historical Section in the Canadian government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade has produced an excellent web site that posts all the key documents for the crisis. Essential reading for any Suez scholar.
• THE MIDDLE EAST AND THE SUEZ CRISIS
The United Nations has written a useful if de-politicized circumspect account of the creation of UNEF.