Introduction: The Strange Twilight that Was Neither War nor Peace

  • E. Bruce Geelhoed
  • Anthony O. Edmonds


On 10 January 1957, Harold Macmillan became the prime minister of Great Britain, following the resignation of Anthony Eden on 9 January. Eden had been, in effect, forced from office by a combination of the overwhelming political pressure brought upon him and his government by the Suez crisis, then in its sixth month, as well as his own serious health problems. On the same day, 10 January, Dwight D. Eisenhower, the thirty-fourth president of the United States, wrote a congratulatory message to Macmillan. The tone of Eisenhower’s letter underscored the friendship which existed between the two men, a relationship which originally began during World War II in the North Africa campaign when Eisenhower was the Supreme Allied Commander of the combined British-American troops, and Macmillan was Britain’s Minister Resident in Algiers, the personal representative of Prime Minister Winston Churchill to Eisenhower’s staff. “Dear Harold,” Eisenhower wrote,

The purpose of this note is to welcome you to your new headaches. The only real fun you will have is to see just how far you can keep on going with everybody chopping at you with every conceivable kind of weapon. Knowing you so long and well I predict that your journey will be a great one. But you must remember the old adage, “Now abideth faith, hope, and charity — and greater than these is a sense of humor.”1


Prime Minister Garden City Suez Canal National Leader North Atlantic Treaty Organization 
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    Eisenhower to Macmillan, 10 January 1957, Dwight D. Eisenhower Library, Papers as President, Ann Whitman File, International Series, Box 22, “Harold Macmillan,” folder 7. Hereafter cited as EL, WFIS, and box. Box 22 contains folders which include letters exchanged between Macmillan and Eisenhower for the period from 10 January 1957 to 24 May 1957.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© E. Bruce Geelhoed and Anthony O. Edmonds 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. Bruce Geelhoed
  • Anthony O. Edmonds

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