For Britain, the Suez crisis of 1956 was - along with the 1938 Munich crisis - the most divisive and controversial episode
of the twentieth century. Centred on a narrow man-made canal linking the Mediterranean with the Red Sea, the Suez crisis caused
fighting on London's streets, split families and friendships and destroyed a prime minister. It tested the government's propaganda
skills to the full and pushed the mass media's independence to breaking point. For many, 'Suez' symbolises the end of the
British Empire and its spectre has haunted British governments for two generations. "Eden, Suez and the Mass Media" examines
the battle for hearts and minds waged through the mass media during the Suez crisis. It explains why the British government
assigned such a critical role to propaganda and charts how Prime Minister Anthony Eden sought to use the press and broadcasting
as instruments to destroy Egypt's leader, Gamal Abdel Nasser. The book dispels the myth that Fleet Street and the BBC were
mere ciphers for public opinion and reveals how Eden's strategy disastrously backfired, trapping him into the notorious pact
of collusion with the French and Israelis.
This new edition of the definitive history of the media's role in the Suez
crisis also draws interesting parallels with the contemporary Iraq War, which Shaw argues bears an uncanny resemblance to
the earlier conflict.