Publisher's Letter, Aug. 20, 1956

Dear TIME-Reader:

AS the latest Mediterranean crisis, resulting from Egypt's seizure of the Suez Canal, approaches a climax, TIME's editors this week give you a long look at this part of the world in the context of history. In eight pages of four-color maps, they use a geographic medium to provide a concise review of more than 3,000 years of history, covering the rise and fall of ancient empires modern colonialism around the rim of the Mediterranean.

Conventional historical maps usually show only one point in time, but TIME's R. M. Chapin Jr. managed to encompass broad spans of time in his maps...

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