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Algeria

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
A part of the "Modern Middle East Nations" series, this book discusses Algeria's location, people, history, and its political and economic status. Dr. Harry Sicherman's introduction gives a thorough overview of the book as well as providing the reader with some background information about Algeria and its current status in the world. The text proper begins with a description of Algeria's geographic and physical features. The maps provided are inadequate, however; several times the text refers to physical features that are not represented on any map. Similarly, surrounding countries are sometimes referred to by their historical names, yet no map illustrates the political changes over the centuries. More detailed maps representing Algeria's political and physical features are needed in order to develop students' background knowledge and further their understanding of the region. Morrow continues on to cover topics of politics, religion, economy, and foreign relations. The topics are covered in great detail, yet are presented in a way that will be understandable for students. Because of the close ties between Algerian politics and religion, the timeline of events can become overwhelming. Students may require extra support when studying this aspect of Algeria. Visually the book is welcoming and user-friendly. The font size and vocabulary is appropriate for middle school students. The book is filled with beautiful color photographs depicting the land, the people, the history and the political events of the country. In addition to the text discussion of various aspects of Algeria, the textbook contains a timeline, a glossary, and an index. The reader is also provided with Internet resources andother readings to support the text. 2004, Mason Crest,
— Cara Mulcahy
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-In this series, the North African states (as well as Morocco) are considered Middle Eastern nations by virtue of the fact that they are "linked by ethnicity, language, and religion to the Arabs." The introductions include some of the historical, political, and economic commonalities of the Middle East as well as a discussion of the significant role played by religion. Each title begins with a chapter on the country's place in the world in the form of a brief overview of its history and its situation today. Succeeding chapters cover the land, history, economy, politics, religion, communities, and foreign relations. The clearly written, unbiased texts are comprehensive and informative. Words that appear in boldface in the texts are listed in the glossary, but without pronunciation guides. Italicized words are defined in context. All three titles are lavishly illustrated with well-captioned photographs, maps, drawings, and paintings, most of which are in color. Many relevant sidebars are included. These attractive, up-to-date books should find a place on library shelves.-Sylvia V. Meisner, Greensboro Montessori School, NC Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Barbara L. Talcroft
With 99 percent of its people following Islam, Algeria is indeed one of the "Major Muslim Nations" of this series. Though most of the country is desert, mountains and rocky plateaus, Algeria's coastal strip on the Mediterranean provides fertile agricultural land, while its oil reserves make Algeria an important exporter of petroleum and natural gas. Since ancient times, Algeria has had a fascinating history, including the rise of Carthage, its destruction by Rome, the rise of Islam, and rule by Berbers and Ottomans. In 1830, French King Charles X decided to conquer Algeria, looting, pillaging, and destroying much of Algiers. The French began to "civilize" Algerians by imposing French language, values, and culture and wiping out the middle class. (An intriguing painting shows a state visit by Napoleon III in 1865.) Through wars and Nazi rule, nationalism grew until after bloody battles between Algerians and French terrorists, Charles de Gaulle approved Algeria's independence in 1962. Most French citizens left, and thousands of Algerians became refugees or immigrants to France. (Though not mentioned in the text, conditions have been deplorable for Algerians in Paris ever since.) Beginning in 1988, radical Islamist groups terrorized Algeria until 2000, when an amnesty brought uneasy peace. Today, under President Bouteflika, Algeria has made progress with oil revenues, improved relations with France, and membership in OPEC and the Arab Mahgreb Union. Carpet making, pottery and Berber silver are traditional arts, while Algerians are making themselves known with new forms of music. Still, Algeria remains poor, women are severely restricted, and education for many children is inadequate. Morrow concludes that internal conflicts urgently need to be resolved before Algerians can have full confidence in their government. Note: The Foreign Policy Research Institute is a conservative think tank, whose president has contributed an introduction to the series. Reviewer: Barbara L. Talcroft
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