A Savage War of Peace: Algeria, 1954-1962

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New York Review of Books, 2006 - History - 608 pages
The Algerian War lasted from 1954 to 1962. It brought down six French governments, led to the collapse of the Fourth Republic, returned de Gaulle to power, and came close to provoking a civil war on French soil. More than a million Muslim Algerians died in the conflict and as many European settlers were driven into exile. Above all, the war was marked by an unholy marriage of revolutionary terror and repressive torture.

Nearly a half century has passed since this savagely fought war ended in Algeria’s independence, and yet—as Alistair Horne argues in his new preface to his now-classic work of history—its repercussions continue to be felt not only in Algeria and France, but throughout the world. Indeed from today’s vantage point the Algerian War looks like a full-dress rehearsal for the sort of amorphous struggle that convulsed the Balkans in the 1990s and that now ravages the Middle East, from Beirut to Baghdad—struggles in which questions of religion, nationalism, imperialism, and terrorism take on a new and increasingly lethal intensity.

A Savage War of Peaceis the definitive history of the Algerian War, a book that brings that terrible and complicated struggle to life with intelligence, assurance, and unflagging momentum. It is essential reading for our own violent times as well as a lasting monument to the historian’s art.
 

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A Savage War of Peace : Algeria 1954-1962 (New York Review Books Classics)

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The Algerian conflict raged for eight bloody years and almost became a civil war. Waged primarily by Muslim nationals against European colonists protected by the French army, the war was marked by ... Read full review

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I am a university student currently writing an extended paper regarding the Algerian War (and more specifically, the role and ideology of the FLN). I have looked at many, many books on this topic in the past few weeks and I have to say that none compare to this one. Horne's work thoroughly covers the Algerian revolution, from the important and complex context preceding the war, through the significant events during the war, and the repercussions of this revolution. Horne's incredibly thorough research is obvious and the result is an extremely interesting, informative and masterful book. 

Contents

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About the author (2006)

ALISTAIR HORNE is the author of eighteen previous books, including A Savage War of Peace: Algeria 1954--1962, The Price of Glory: Verdun 1916, How Far from Austerlitz?: Napoleon 1805--1815 and the official biography of British prime minister Harold Macmillan. He is a fellow at St. Anthony's College, Oxford, and lives in Oxfordshire. He was awarded the French Legion d'Honneur in 1993 and received a knighthood in 2003 for his work on French history.

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