Algeria: Anger of the Dispossessed

Algeria: Anger of the Dispossessed

by Martin Evans, John Phillips
     
 

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After liberating itself from French colonial rule in one of the twentieth century’s most brutal wars of independence, Algeria became a standard-bearer for the non-aligned movement. By the 1990s, however, its revolutionary political model had collapsed, degenerating into a savage conflict between the military and Islamist guerillas that killed some 200,000

Overview

After liberating itself from French colonial rule in one of the twentieth century’s most brutal wars of independence, Algeria became a standard-bearer for the non-aligned movement. By the 1990s, however, its revolutionary political model had collapsed, degenerating into a savage conflict between the military and Islamist guerillas that killed some 200,000 citizens.

In this lucid and gripping account, Martin Evans and John Phillips explore Algeria’s recent and very bloody history, demonstrating how the high hopes of independence turned into anger as young Algerians grew increasingly alienated. Unemployed, frustrated by the corrupt military regime, and excluded by the West, the post-independence generation needed new heroes, and some found them in Osama bin Laden and the rising Islamist movement.

Evans and Phillips trace the complex roots of this alienation, arguing that Algeria’s predicament—political instability, pressing economic and social problems, bad governance, a disenfranchised youth—is emblematic of an arc of insecurity stretching from Morocco to Indonesia. Looking back at the pre-colonial and colonial periods, they place Algeria’s complex present into historical context, demonstrating how successive governments have manipulated the past for their own ends. The result is a fractured society with a complicated and bitter relationship with the Western powers—and an increasing tendency to export terrorism to France, America, and beyond.

Editorial Reviews

Waterline - Cmdr. Youssef Aboul-Enein

"An excellent primer that provides readers a quick orientation into Algeria's history from 1820 to the present."—Cmdr. Youssef Aboul-Enein, Waterline

Washington Post - Michael Mewshaw

"As this chilling and important book makes clear, [Algeria] remains a country controlled by unelected men who have left most of the population disinherited and at continuing risk of political violence."—Michael Mewshaw, Washington Post

Washington Post

"As this chilling and important book makes clear, [Algeria] remains a country controlled by unelected men who have left most of the population disinherited and at continuing risk of political violence."—Michael Mewshaw, Washington Post

— Michael Mewshaw

Michael Mewshaw
As the occupation of Iraq began to unravel in 2003, the State Department and the Pentagon reportedly screened "The Battle of Algiers" for their employees. While this fictionalized, 40-year-old docudrama about Algeria's struggle for independence might offer some insights into Islamic insurgencies, true understanding of the currents that have convulsed the Islamic world requires the kind of analysis that distinguishes Algeria: Anger of the Dispossessed. The product of extensive research and courageous reporting, this book combines the best efforts of an academic, Martin Evans, and a journalist, John Phillips, both of whom have many years of experience in North Africa…[a] chilling and important book…
—The Washington Post

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300108811
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
01/28/2008
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
876,120
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.50(d)

Meet the Author

Martin Evans is professor of contemporary history at the University of Portsmouth and author of The Memory of Resistance: French Opposition to the Algerian War 1954–62 (1997). John Phillips has reported from Algeria for The Times as a special correspondent from 1991 to 1997, and is author of Macedonia: Warlords & Rebels in the Balkans (2004).

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