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The French Intifada: The Long War Between France and Its Arabs Hardcover – April 22, 2014


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber (April 22, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0865479216
  • ISBN-13: 978-0865479210
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #421,434 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for The French Intifada
 
A New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice Selection
 
“A bracing mix of journalism and history . . . [The French Intifada] couldn’t be more timely.” —Mitchell Cohen, The New York Times Book Review
 
“Uncompromising . . . [a] brilliant book.” —Damian Thompson, The Telegraph
 
“Fascinating and hugely readable . . . Hussey makes a strong case that France’s contemporary malaise can only be understood in the light of this tragic history.” —Matthew Campbell, The Sunday Times
 
“Refreshing . . . a good introduction to the most sensitive issues of race, religion, citizenship and history that grip modern France.” —Tony Barber, Financial Times
 
“I admire Andrew Hussey’s book because he has had the courage to go where I didn’t.” —Nick Fraser, The Observer
 
“Hussey is an engaging guide . . . writing with authority and humour about everything from Zinedine Zidane to architecture. He manages to make what at times is a terrible tale into a fascinating and enjoyable read.” —Rob Dex, Irish Examiner
 
The French Intifada mixes lively street reportage with the history of two brutal centuries in France’s former Maghreb territories . . . This is strong stuff.” —Charles Bremner, New Statesman
 
Praise for Paris: The Secret History

“In his . . . shockingly violent alternative history of Paris, Andrew Hussey illuminates the city’s gutters, stews, slaughters, riots, underbellies, and crimes in the shadowy corners that Balzac relished. The result is  . . . a fascinating riot of a book.” —Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of Jerusalem

About the Author

Andrew Hussey is the dean of the University of London Institute in Paris, a regular contributor to The Guardian and the New Statesman, and the writer/presenter of several BBC documentaries on French food and art. He is the author of The Game of War: The Life and Death of Guy Debord and Paris: The Secret History. He was awarded an Order of the British Empire in the 2011 New Year’s Honours list for services to cultural relations between the United Kingdom and France.


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Sinohey TOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 5, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
In 1827, France was trying to weasel out of paying its long overdue debts for goods imported from Algeria. The French consul confronted the Bey of Algiers (ruler of the country) with France's demands, in a supercilious manner. The irate Bey replied by slapping the pompous Frenchman with a fly-whisk. In response France's ships blockaded Algiers, the Bey's army cannonaded the French, the hostilities gradually escalated, culminating into a full blown invasion by France in 1830. And for the next 130 years, until Algeria's war of independence, France ruled Algeria as part of its territory but a second class province. The annexation of Algeria was accomplished with unmitigated brutality against individuals (incarceration, beatings, torture and executions) as well as entire villages, with firebombing from the air and "enfumades" (smoking attacks) - where villages are set on fire and the escaping dwellers are shot down by the French army. The same tactics were again used to quell the 1950s uprisings.
About 1.5 million French "colons" settled in Algeria and ruled it with an iron fist. Dissent was crushed with ruthless, merciless and violent efficiency by the "gendarmes" who were proficient in torture methods. Their innovative techniques are said to have been later adapted by the tyrants of the Middle East.
To the French, the natives were barbarians who needed to be "civilised" and abandon their culture. Algerians, who according to Hussey, were considered by the French to share "racial and cultural defects of all North Africans, ranging from stupidity, criminality and a taste for violence." They were given the choice between French citizenship or continue to live as Muslims. The devout were thus definitely excluded from governing. This was also reinforced by spurious elections.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Lester Elephant on July 6, 2014
Format: Hardcover
One of many problems I find with this book is that it is so riddled with inaccuracies that it is impossible to trust the content and therefore the book becomes worthless as anything other than fiction. We can forgive Hussey for his massive generalisation about what the word 'banlieue' means as many people use a similar shorthand for 'banlieue' as 'troubled area' when in actual fact banlieues cover a vast array of different social settings: posh Reuil-Malmaison for instance is a banlieue in the true sense of the word. Hussey's generalisation of all North Africans as 'Arabs' is crude in the extreme and demonstrates the author's rather simplistic mind-set. The idea that there are no Jews living in the banlieues is frankly laughable- why would there still be a number of synagogues in these areas if the Jewish community had disappeared entirely. When the author talks about how 'Arabs' in the suburbs are, in large numbers, called Kevin as a result of anti-French and Anglophile tendencies he overlooks the fact that the name Kevin was THE most popular name throughout France at the time these people were born: it reflected the popularity of the American actor Kevin Costner and was a result of the lifting of traditional restrictions on what names French people were allowed to call their kids (previously they had had to choose Saints names and since there was no Saint Kevin this name represented an appropriate break with the past)- it had absolutely nothing to do with anti-French colonialism. These are just some of a huge number of mistakes which undermine one's confidence. After a while one starts to wonder whether Hussey was really present in all the events that he describes and how many of his conversations with people in the suburbs are just made up. One can't help feeling that the book would have benefitted from some genuine research. A big thumbs down! The title and cover photo give a strong indication of the lack of subtlety in the text...
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
To be fair, much of the material presented is new to me, so I am in no position to judge the veracity of the material. That being said, it seems to be very well researched, well written, contains ample first hand knowledge, and overall does a great deal to illuminate the mystery of the past 2 centuries of French/African politics and current issues. If you are at all interested in the modern history of the conflict between the middle east, islam, north africa and europe, I think this book is a must read. I would also recommend it as professional reading for any military or diplomatic personnel that conducts business in north africa and the magreb.
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By XiSh on August 14, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have wanted to read this book months before it came out in the US. The movies such as Freeman and Glory Days drew me to this subject. I like reading the book. It has a good historic background of the relationship between France and it's former colonies. Yet, I do not feel a emotional connection between author and the people. As a result, I feel like I am reading many news storied strung together, not a coherent story. I guess I want to get a deeper look at Arabs who live in France, and those who want to go there. Their struggles or conflicts. No such characters in the book really touched me. I do yearn for more.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Beautifully written and argued, this book relates France's (and the world's) recent troubles with Arabs to its colonial past. The mistakes made by the conquerors continue to haunt us.
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