The Eden-Eisenhower Correspondence, 1955-1957

The Eden-Eisenhower Correspondence, 1955-1957

The Eden-Eisenhower Correspondence, 1955-1957

The Eden-Eisenhower Correspondence, 1955-1957

Synopsis

The personal correspondence between President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Prime Minister Anthony Eden during the time they were simultaneously in office tells the dramatic story of a relationship that began with great promise but ended in division and estrangement. Many of the letters have only recently been declassified, making it possible for the first time to publish this unique historic collection in its entirety.

Peter G. Boyle's introduction, annotations, and conclusion provide context for the letters--details about the personalities and careers of Eden and Eisenhower and major issues that influenced the Anglo-American relationship up to 1955, such as relations with the Soviet Union, nuclear concerns, colonialism, the Middle and Far East, economic issues, and intelligence matters. The letters themselves offer an intimate look into the special connection between Britain and the United States through the often eloquent words of their leaders. They offer particular insight into the Suez Crisis of 1956, when Eden's and Eisenhower's views greatly diverged over the use of force to resolve the situation. Their personal relationship cooled from that point on and ended with Eden's resignation in January 1957.

Excerpt

[There is no one better fitted than you to seize the opportunities inherent in your new office for helping to guide the world towards the goal we all earnestly seek. On the more personal side, I cannot tell you how delighted I am that my old friend Winston has been succeeded by an equally valued friend in an office in which friendliness and genuine readiness to cooperate can mean so much to my own country.] In these words in the first letter of his personal correspondence with Anthony Eden on April 8, 1955, President Dwight D. Eisenhower warmly welcomed Eden's appointment as prime minister of Britain. Eisenhower concluded his letter with an expression of [my confident belief in the brilliant career ahead of you.] Eighteen months later, however, the relationship had degenerated into the deception and disagreements over Suez, which culminated in Eden's resignation in January 1957. The Anglo-American relationship during the Eden-Eisenhower years, 1955–57, is, therefore, a dramatic tale of initial high hopes and promising potential, which ended in tears and in ashes. The development of the relationship from its early promise to its final collapse is vividly revealed in the personal correspondence between Eden and Eisenhower during the period when they were simultaneously in office, April 6,1955, to January 9,1957.

The tradition of personal correspondence between the prime minister of Britain and the president of the United States was begun by Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt during World War II. In 1952, following Eisenhower's election as president, Churchill, who had become prime minister of Britain again in 1951, suggested to Eisenhower that they should engage in a similar personal correspondence in addition to normal government-togovernment exchanges. Eisenhower agreed to the suggestion and throughout the period when they were simultaneously in office as prime minister of Britain and president of the United States, from January 20,1953, to April 5, 1955, Churchill and Eisenhower engaged in a correspondence in which letters were less frequent than between Churchill and Roosevelt but were generally longer and more reflective. Eden was keen to continue this tradition and to have a similar correspondence with Eisenhower. On April 11, 1955, he wrote to Eisenhower, thanking him for his complimentary comments and adding, [I hope that you will allow me from time to time to address you where there is some particular aspect of a problem which I would like to . . .

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