Uncivil War: Intellectuals and Identity Politics during the Decolonization of Algeria, Second Edition / Edition 2

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Overview


Uncivil War is a provocative study of the intellectuals who confronted the loss of France’s most prized overseas possession: colonial Algeria. Tracing the intellectual history of one of the most violent and pivotal wars of European decolonization, James D. Le Sueur illustrates how key figures such as Albert Camus, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Germaine Tillion, Jacques Soustelle, Raymond Aron, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Albert Memmi, Frantz Fanon, Mouloud Feraoun, Jean Amrouche, and Pierre Bourdieu agonized over the “Algerian question.” As Le Sueur argues, these individuals and others forged new notions of the nation and nationalism, giving rise to a politics of identity that continues to influence debate around the world. This edition features an important new chapter on the intellectual responses to the recent torture debates in France, the civil war in Algeria, and terrorism since September 11.
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Editorial Reviews

The New Republic - Roger Kaplan

"Feraoun is best known for a chronicle of events, titled simply Journal, that he kept during the eight-year war that led to Algerian independence in 1962. . . . His Journal makes clear Feraoun’s lucidity regarding the national question-an issue that has bedeviled our times and of which Algerian history has been in many ways prototypical."—Roger Kaplan, The New Republic
The Village Voice - Ammiel Alcalay

"Feraoun was great novelist and an educator in the colonial system until his assassination by the OAS, a right-wing French terrorist group, just three days before a cease-fire ended Algeria’s eight-year battle for independence from France in 1962. His first entry, from November 1, 1955, prefigures the complexity, irony, and compassion that dictate the intellectual rigor and honesty of his life’s work . . . In passage after passage, Feraoun’s Journal reads like a message in a bottle. Far beyond the particulars of Algeria, it is precisely this gesture that makes Feraoun’s Journal such a timely and timeless historical, political, literary, and human document."—Ammiel Alcalay, The Village Voice
The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History - Martin Thomas

This translation of the original French version published in 1962 is thus long overdue. Perhaps its greatest value it as an unmatched description of the infinite dilemmas faced by Algeria’s ‘Europeanized Muslims’. The journal provides a constant reminder of the inevitable accommodations made by Muslims caught between two bloody extremes. In its focus on the personal consequences of killings and counter-killings within the Algerian Muslim community, it gives real voice to those whom Fanon characterized as Damnès de la terre."—Martin Thomas, The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History
North African Studies - Nicole Kaplan

"This first English translation of Feraoun's deeply personal and poignant record of the Algerian war of independence is long overdue. The reader will be struck by the historical and anthropological precision that characterizes Mouloud Feraoun’s record of the war."—Nicole Kaplan, North African Studies
The Journal of Military History - Phillip Naylor

"Mouloud Feraoun’s Journal is a precious account not only of the social, political, and military conditions in revolutionary Algeria, but also of a man whose dedication and dignity transcended the atrocity and absurdity of his times. This unsettling yet inspiring book is highly recommended for general as well as specialized collections."—Phillip Naylor, The Journal of Military History
Research in African Literatures - Irwin Wall

"The Journal has long been known to students of the Algerian War: its appearance in English will make it available to a broader audience, and will be especially welcome to students of postcolonial theory whose themes it admirably exemplifies."—Irwin Wall, Research in African Literatures
The Village Voice

"Feraoun was great novelist and an educator in the colonial system until his assassination by the OAS, a right-wing French terrorist group, just three days before a cease-fire ended Algeria’s eight-year battle for independence from France in 1962. His first entry, from November 1, 1955, prefigures the complexity, irony, and compassion that dictate the intellectual rigor and honesty of his life’s work . . . In passage after passage, Feraoun’s Journal reads like a message in a bottle. Far beyond the particulars of Algeria, it is precisely this gesture that makes Feraoun’s Journal such a timely and timeless historical, political, literary, and human document."—Ammiel Alcalay, The Village Voice

— Ammiel Alcalay

The New Republic

"Feraoun is best known for a chronicle of events, titled simply Journal, that he kept during the eight-year war that led to Algerian independence in 1962. . . . His Journal makes clear Feraoun’s lucidity regarding the national question-an issue that has bedeviled our times and of which Algerian history has been in many ways prototypical."—Roger Kaplan, The New Republic

— Roger Kaplan

New York Review of Books

“An illuminating study of French intellectual responses to the war.”—New York Review of Books
American Historical Review

“Le Sueur has provided an insightful and lively interpretation of an ongoing moral, sociological, political, and intellectual struggle taking place on both sides of the Mediterranean Sea.”—American Historical Review
The Journal of Military History

"Mouloud Feraoun’s Journal is a precious account not only of the social, political, and military conditions in revolutionary Algeria, but also of a man whose dedication and dignity transcended the atrocity and absurdity of his times. This unsettling yet inspiring book is highly recommended for general as well as specialized collections."—Phillip Naylor, The Journal of Military History

— Phillip Naylor

Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History

“Le Sueur’s great achievement is to reveal the complexity of the political and moral choices faced by intellectuals and, by extension, by the wider populations of Algeria and France.”—Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History
Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations

“Uncivil War is indispensable reading for re-assessing the greater historical significance of the Algerian War.”—Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations
Research in African Literatures

"The Journal has long been known to students of the Algerian War: its appearance in English will make it available to a broader audience, and will be especially welcome to students of postcolonial theory whose themes it admirably exemplifies."—Irwin Wall, Research in African Literatures

— Irwin Wall

The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History

This translation of the original French version published in 1962 is thus long overdue. Perhaps its greatest value it as an unmatched description of the infinite dilemmas faced by Algeria’s ‘Europeanized Muslims’. The journal provides a constant reminder of the inevitable accommodations made by Muslims caught between two bloody extremes. In its focus on the personal consequences of killings and counter-killings within the Algerian Muslim community, it gives real voice to those whom Fanon characterized as Damnès de la terre."—Martin Thomas, The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History

— Martin Thomas

North African Studies

"This first English translation of Feraoun's deeply personal and poignant record of the Algerian war of independence is long overdue. The reader will be struck by the historical and anthropological precision that characterizes Mouloud Feraoun’s record of the war."—Nicole Kaplan, North African Studies

— Nicole Kaplan

Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations

“Uncivil War is indispensable reading for re-assessing the greater historical significance of the Algerian War.”—Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations

American Historical Review

“Le Sueur has provided an insightful and lively interpretation of an ongoing moral, sociological, political, and intellectual struggle taking place on both sides of the Mediterranean Sea.”—American Historical Review

Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History

“Le Sueur’s great achievement is to reveal the complexity of the political and moral choices faced by intellectuals and, by extension, by the wider populations of Algeria and France.”—Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History

New York Review of Books

“An illuminating study of French intellectual responses to the war.”—New York Review of Books

Donald Reid
Le Sueur's study resonates in the political culture of France today...In Uncivil War Le Sueur shows how anticolonialism functioned for some as an effort to realize French Enlightenment universalism and for others as a critique of this universalist project. The crux of contemporary debates about multiculturalism in both the United States and France can be found in the debates during the French-Algerian War involving those who saw individual identities as the fruit of creative and conflictual relationships of multiple cultures and those who saw identities as the product of oppressive power relationships that forged distinct cultures. It deserves to be widely read and discussed—and not just by historians of France and Algeria.
Journal of Modern History
John P. Entelis
Le Sueur's revealing and empathetic portrayal of the controversial, Algerian-born French novelist Albert Camus marks an important step in the fuller comprehension of the personal and political dilemmas faced by intellectuals unwilling to be "politically correct." In the current atmosphere of daily death and destruction at the hands of a rapacious state and equally sanguinary Islamic terrorists, "Camus's assessment of the result of violence [so much heralded by Frantz Fanon and Jean-Paul Sartre in the 1950s] and the possibility that antidemocratic tendencies of the FLN would make stability unlikely seems all too prophetic to today's audience. Le Sueur has provided and insightful and lively interpretation of an ongoing moral, sociological, political and intellectual struggle taking place on both sides of the Mediterranean Sea.
American Historical Review
Martin Thomas
Le Sueur's great achievement is to reveal the complexity of the political and moral choices faced by intellectuals and, by extension, by the wider populations of Algeria and France. His book stands as a powerful testimony of the devastating effects of colonialism, terrorism and uncontrolled military power...
The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History
Phillip C. Naylor
Political and military analyses saturate the historiography of the ‘French-Algerian War' that was waged from 1954 to 1962. James Le Sueur considers a complementary and concurrent conflict-that among intellectuals. Taking advantage of private collections and increasingly available archival sources, the author adds a sense of immediacy by including interviews. The result is a rigorously researched intellectual history of Algerian decolonisation.
Journal of Modern African Studies
Adam Shatz
As James Le Sueur observes in Uncivil War, an illuminating study of French intellectual responses to the war, Camus was far from neutral. His criticisms of the French army's atrocities grew increasingly muted....As Cooler observers like Raymond Aron recognized, no such third force existed. In his 1957 book La Tragèdie Algèrienne he argued that there was no rational alternative to French withdrawal. De Gaulle, who entered office in 1958 promising never to give up Algeria, ultimately reached this conclusion as well, but only after exhausting all other alternatives. His decision liberated France from what Aron called the "drain" of Algeria, and prevented a civil war. But it also left a bitter legacy, particularly among the more than a million European Algerians who fled to France.
New York Review of Books
Todd Shepard
It is the most important recent contribution to English-language scholarship on the Algerian Revolution.
Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History
Anne-Marie Alexander
In his stellar scholarly work, Uncivil War, James Le Sueur endeavors to trace the intricate role of intellectuals during the French-Algerian War. Providing a rich historical backdrop...the author presents a fresh, engaging study of Algerian and French intellectuals during the bloody period of decolonization. Le Sueur successfully draws the reader into the theoretical fray with his appealing and accessible arguments.
L'Esprit Créateur
Osama Abi- Mershed
Uncivil War is indispensable reading for re-assessing the greater historical significance of the Algerian War. Its savagery led many contemporary intellectuals to question their philosophical and moral integrity, and to engage in self-criticisms that were not unrelated to the emergence of the post-structural movement.
Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803280281
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/2006
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 430
  • Sales rank: 1,433,046
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author


James D. Le Sueur is an associate professor of history at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He is the editor of Mouloud Feraoun's Journal, 1955-1962: Reflections on the French-Algerian War (available in a Bison Books edition) and The Decolonization Reader and The Decolonization Sourcebook. He contributed new material to Ben Abro’s Assassination! July 14 and Henri Alleg’s The Question, both available in Bison Books editions.
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Table of Contents

Foreword
1 History and Franco-Muslim reconciliation : French colonialism in Algeria 17
2 Imbroglios and intellectual legitimacy : anticolonialism and the Comite d'Action 32
3 French educational reform and the problem of reconciliation : the Service des Centres Sociaux 62
4 The unbearable solitude of being : the question of Albert Camus 98
5 Shifting views of reconciliation : a liberal retreat from empire? 147
6 Visions of reconciliation, visions of rupture : violence, propaganda, and representations of difference 185
7 The politics of othering 239
8 The legacy of violence : reflections on the revolution in two nations 286
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