THE PRESIDENCY: An Act in Time

The air in Washington on Monday morning hung oppressive and muggy. At 8 o'clock the rain began to fall in a dismal drizzle, slicking the streets, washing the stone and concrete faces of the capital. The raindrops beaded the row of semicircular windows off the White House south lawn and snaked down the panes. Behind the windows, seated in his red leather chair, President Eisenhower pored grimly over the news dispatches and diplomatic intelligence that told of Iraq's fall.

The reports told everything the U.S. knew to that moment about the coup,...

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