A Desert Named Peace: The Violence of France's Empire in the Algerian Sahara, 1844-1902

A Desert Named Peace: The Violence of France's Empire in the Algerian Sahara, 1844-1902

by Benjamin C Brower
     
 

ISBN-10: 0231154933

ISBN-13: 9780231154932

Pub. Date: 09/27/2011

Publisher: Columbia University Press

In the mid-nineteenth century, French colonial leaders in Algeria started southward into the Sahara, beginning a fifty-year period of violence. Lying in the shadow of the colonization of northern Algeria, which claimed the lives of over a million people, French empire in the Sahara sought power through physical force as it had elsewhere; yet violence in the

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Overview

In the mid-nineteenth century, French colonial leaders in Algeria started southward into the Sahara, beginning a fifty-year period of violence. Lying in the shadow of the colonization of northern Algeria, which claimed the lives of over a million people, French empire in the Sahara sought power through physical force as it had elsewhere; yet violence in the Algerian Sahara followed a more complicated logic than the old argument that it was simply a way to get empire on the cheap.

A Desert Named Peace examines colonial violence through multiple stories and across several fields of research. It presents four cases: the military conquests of the French army in the oases and officers' predisposition to use extreme violence in colonial conflicts; a spontaneous nighttime attack made by Algerian pastoralists on a French village, as notable for its brutality as for its obscure causes; the violence of indigenous forms of slavery and the colonial accommodations that preserved it during the era of abolition; and the struggles of French Romantics whose debates about art and politics arrived from Paris with disastrous consequences.

Benjamin Claude Brower uses these different perspectives to reveal the unexpected causes of colonial violence, such as France's troubled revolutionary past and its influence on the military's institutional culture, the aesthetics of the sublime and its impact on colonial thinking, the ecological crises suffered by Saharan pastoralists under colonial rule, and the conflicting paths to authority inherent in Algerian Sufism. Directly engaging a controversial history, A Desert Named Peace offers an important backdrop to understanding the Algerian war for independence (1954-1962) and Algeria's ongoing internal war, begun in 1992, between the government and armed groups that claim to fight for an Islamist revolution.

Columbia University Press

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780231154932
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
Publication date:
09/27/2011
Series:
History and Society of the Modern Middle East Series
Pages:
480
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

PrefaceAcknowledgmentsNote on Transliteration of ArabicIntroduction: Understanding Violence in Colonial AlgeriaPart 1: The "Pénétration Pacifique" of the Algerian Sahara, 1844-521: The Peaceful Expansion of Total Conquest2: Theorizing the "Pénétration Pacifique"3: The "Pénétration Pacifique" in Practice, 1847-52Part 2: Exterminating the French at Djelfa, 18614: The Ouled Naïl and Colonial Rule5: The Leadership Crisis and Rural Marabouts6: A Holiday Gone Wrong: The Attack on DjelfaPart 3: Slavery in the Algerian Sahara Following Abolition7: Saaba's Journey to Algerian Slavery8: The Saharan Slave Trade and Abolition9: Colonial AccomodationPart 4: Imagining France's Saharan Empire10: Romanticism and the Saharan Sublime11: The "Blue Legend": Henri Duveyrier and the TuaregConclusionNotesBibliographyResearch Aids and Archival InventoriesArchival SourcesPrimary SourcesSecondary SourcesIndex

Columbia University Press

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