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Algeria: France's Undeclared War (Making of the Modern World) Hardcover – January 13, 2012


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Algeria: France's Undeclared War (Making of the Modern World) + A Savage War of Peace: Algeria 1954-1962 (New York Review Books Classics)
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Product Details

  • Series: Making of the Modern World
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (January 13, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192803506
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192803504
  • Product Dimensions: 1.7 x 6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #158,295 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


"A carefully nuanced history of the Algerian War...This highly detailed, well-written, well-researched book will likely be the definitive history of the Algerian War for many years to come." --CHOICE


"Fascinating insights into the origins of Algerian independence." --History Today


"Algeria combines excellent scholarship with crossover appeal for a general audience. While preserving academic rigor, the book has the clarity and narrative force to draw in general readers as well as lower-level students... A fine example of academic work with ambitious scope and a robust allegiance to historical justice" --African Studies Quarterly


About the Author


Martin Evans is Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Portsmouth. He is the author of Memory of Resistance: French Opposition to the Algerian War, co-author (with Emmanuel Godin) of France 1815 to 2003, and co-author (with John Phillips) of Algeria: Anger of the Dispossessed. In 2008 Memory of Resistance was translated into French and serialised in the Algerian press. He has written for the Independent, the Times Higher Education Supplement, BBC History Magazine and the Guardian, and is a regular contributor to History Today. In 2007-08 he was a Leverhulme Senior Research Fellow at the British Academy.

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Customer Reviews

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This book is extremely well written and gives a clear perspective on Algeria since the time of the colonization.
Antoine Levy-Lambert
This book should be required reading in all officers' academies everywhere, and I would wholeheartedly recommend it for all politicians as well.
Hercule Poirot
Evans makes none of the above mistakes and relegates the military campaign to the political one fought in France and elsewhere.
Gary F

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Antoine Levy-Lambert on February 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am born in 1960 in the Paris area and my parents had lived in Algeria shortly before my birth. A lot of people around me have had something to do with Algeria, two of my high school friends were from repatriated - ex settlers - families. One of my college friend too. My father in law was a soldier in Algeria. Also when I spent a month doing an internship on a farm in Aveyron in the South of France I met men who had fought in Algeria. So Algeria was present in the life of many people whom I know, but what had happened there, why the French had settled Algeria, and how the independence movement in Algeria developed was not clear at all for me.
This book is extremely well written and gives a clear perspective on Algeria since the time of the colonization. There is something to learn in this book, maybe the Israel/Palestine problem is similar to France/Algeria - with the added problem that some Palestinians want also the pre-1967 Israel territory.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Hercule Poirot on January 30, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I served as a paratrooper during the five most violent years of the Algerian war, only leaving for France a few week before Algerian independence in 1962. I have therefore always taken great interest in everything published on that conflict in several languages, including Alistair Horne's excellent 'A Savage War of Peace', which is also worth 5 stars. But this book is just that much better, and I would actually have given it 6 stars if I could. It brings the whole conflict beautifully into context and does not shy away from describing some of the worst atrocities conducted by both sides. This book should be required reading in all officers' academies everywhere, and I would wholeheartedly recommend it for all politicians as well. Then perhaps there could, just perhaps, be fewer instances of those mistakes and unnecessary atrocities that were inflicted on combatants and civilians alike during the Algerian war. But I must confess that I don't expect to see that happening during my lifetime, judging by what has been going on in the various conflicts around the world lately.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Donald F. Donahue on January 9, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Evans' book provides an excellent history of French Algeria, from the initial invasion in 1830 through to its end in the "undeclared war" of 1954-62, with a "where are they now" coda briefly summarizing developments following the declaration of independence. The initial section of the book outlines how the French conquest unfolded, the French settler community evolved (and seized all their privileges against the Muslim majority), and the Muslim majority moved towards a more explicit concept of Algeria as a country and Algerian nationalism as a cause. It effectively sets the stage for the struggle to come, making clear the strong forces arrayed against any chance of reconciling the two communities. It's an excellent backgrounder, with much content that I hadn't seen elsewhere.

Evans' summary of the "war" period covers the developments in Algeria and in France, but places heavy emphasis on the role of French policymakers and politicians in seeking to craft a "third way" based precisely on such a reconciliation - while the FLN's own development and its campaigns inside Algeria are covered, Evans treats these in more summary form. Similarly, when de Gaulle is returned to power in 1958, Evans then focuses on the evolution of de Gaulle's own thinking, and how de Gaulle's initial continuity with the "third way" strategy of prior governments moved towards a successive abandonment of each of the constituent parts of that strategy as the irreconcilable nature of the conflict steadily became more clear. On the FLN side, the increasing dominance of the military faction is described, setting the stage for what happens upon Algerian independence (as the military faction seizes power) and what has shaped the country ever since.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Let me say first of all I was disappointed. Although I understood this was not strictly a military history of the war in Algeria, the book could have been much better if there had been at least more than just passing references to the military aspects of the struggle.
There was practically no mention of (Military tactics), the role of the Foreign Legion, Paratroops, air power, uniforms, weapons, etc. No
focus on the life of the average FLN combatant living in the bled. In addition, the author comes across as at least marginally sympathetic to the FLN. Now, if your looking for a "political" history of the Algerian War, the book is superlative. Having said all this, I would still recommend this book, especially to readers who are not familiar with this page of history, and more especially since there is such a dearth of literature in English on this subject (As with the Indochina War).
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