Portrait of a Statesman, by Dennis Bardens; The Turn of the Tide: The Alanbrooke Diaries, by Arthur Bryant
Sir Anthony Eden’s resignation last January was one of those events that go on echoing down the corridors of time long after the curtain has dropped. Following the shock of the Suez fiasco, it needed only the disintegration of the Eden myth for British Conservatism to relapse into its pre-Churchillian mood of sullen resistance to the trend of the times. Churchill had imposed himself upon Britain, and in the process imposed his concept of Anglo-American partnership upon the Tory party (and perhaps upon the Republican party, though this is something an outsider cannot judge). With Eden the Tories reverted to type, and by so doing gave the State Department the long-sought chance to repudiate the wartime and postwar partnership with Britain. It is an odd comment on Sir Anthony Eden’s previous reputation that his brief premiership will be remembered chiefly for having closed a period during which Britain was still able to mask her weakness by tactical finesse: not, one would have thought, an outcome to be expected from letting a master diplomat take over the controls.
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