SUEZ: The Two Pressures

The scene shifted to Cairo. There two men, by ordinary reckoning relatively minor contenders, met in the center of the ring with all the world looking on. Australia's white-haired Robert Gordon Menzies, assured and sagacious, faced Egypt's young Gamal Abdel Nasser, clever and ambitious. The stakes were high, the din was deafening and the outcome uncertain.

Superficially the odds favored Nasser. The Suez Canal was his to have and hold, and any challenger would have to wrest it from him. But Menzies too had sources of strength. His five-nation committee represented 18...

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