Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Blood and Sand: Suez, Hungary, and Eisenhower's campaign for Peace


Today's Nonfiction post is on Blood and Sand: Suez, Hungary, and Eisenhower's campaign for Peace by Alex von Tunzelmann. It is 560 pages long including notes. The cover is black and white with different pictures dealing with the content of the book. The intended reader is someone interested in the Middle East post World War 2 and Eisenhower. There is foul language, talk of sex, and violence in this book. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- Over sixteen extraordinary days in October and November 1956, the twin crises of Suez and Hungary pushed the world to the brink of a nuclear conflict and what many at the time were calling World War III. Blood & Sand is a revelatory new history of these dramatic events, for the first time setting both crises in the context of the global Cold War, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the treacherous power politics of imperialism and oil.
Blood & Sand tells this story hour by hour through a fascinating international cast of characters including Gamal Abdel Nasser, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Anthony Eden, Christian Pineau, Nikita Khrushchev, Imre Nagy and David Ben-Gurion. It is a tale of conspiracy and revolutions; spies and terrorists; kidnappings and assassination plots; the fall of the British Empire and rise of American hegemony. Blood & Sand is essential to our understanding of the modern Middle East and resonates strikingly with the problems of oil control, religious fundamentalism and international unity that face the world today.

Review- I wanted to be engaged with this book. I wanted to learn some new things about a president that I do not know much about but this book was a very slow and boring read. It is about the beginning of the Middle East as we have it today and it should have been interesting. Instead the writing is very slow, with lots of details that do not really add to the overall story, just slow it down. The notes are good and give pointers about where to go next if you want to do more research but after this book I do not.

I give this book a Two out of Five stars. I was given this book in exchange for an honest review by Harper Collins.