A Letter From The Publisher: Oct. 12, 1970

GAMAL ABDEL NASSER was no stranger to TIME's correspondents, nor were they strangers to him. Indeed, such was the Egyptian leader's charm that few journalists found their dealings with him impersonal, and in the 18 years he was in power he formed relationships with a number of TIME staffers.

Jim Bell, now Rome bureau chief, was the first TIME correspondent to meet Nasser. Scarcely two months after the 1952 coup that ousted King Farouk, Bell was introduced to a relatively unknown member of the new ruling junta named Gamal Abdel Nasser. The young lieut. colonel, Bell learned, was to clear the questions...

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