Algeria: France's Undeclared War

OUP Oxford
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Invaded in 1830, populated by one million settlers who co-existed uneasily with nine million Arabs and Berbers, Algeria was different from other French colonies because it was administered as an integral part of France, in theory no different from Normandy or Brittany. The depth and scale of the colonization process explains why the Algerian War of 1954 to 1962 was one of the longest and most violent of the decolonization struggles. An undeclared war in the sense that there was no formal beginning of hostilities, the conflict produced huge tensions that brought down four governments, ended the Fourth Republic in 1958, and mired the French army in accusations of torture and mass human rights abuses. In carefully re-examining the origins and consequences of the conflict, Martin Evans argues that it was the Socialist-led Republican Front, in power from January 1956 until May 1957, which was the defining moment in the war, rather than the later administration under De Gaulle. Predicated on the belief in the universal civilizing mission of the Fourth Republic, coupled with the conviction that Algerian nationalism was feudal and religiously fanatical in character, the Republican Front dramatically intensified the war in the spring of 1956. Drawing upon previously classified archival sources as well as new oral testimonies, France's Undeclared War is the first major English-language history of the Algerian conflict in a generation. Throughout, Martin Evans underlines the ultimately irreconcilable conflict of values between the Republican Front and Algerian nationalism, explaining how this clash produced patterns of thought and action, such as the institutionalization of torture and the raising of pro-French Muslim militias, which tragically polarized choices and framed all stages of the conflict.
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About the author

Martin Evans is Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Portsmouth. He is the author of Memory of Resistance: French Opposition to the Algerian War (1997), co-author (with Emmanuel Godin) of France 1815 to 2003 (2004), and co-author (with John Phillips) of Algeria: Anger of the Dispossessed (2007). In 2008 Memory of Resistance was translated into French and serialised in the Algerian press. He has written for the Independent, the Times Higher Education Supplement, BBC History Magazine, and the Guardian, and is a regular contributor to History Today. In 2007-08 he was a Leverhulme Senior Research Fellow at the British Academy.
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Additional Information

Publisher
OUP Oxford
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Published on
Nov 24, 2011
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Pages
494
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ISBN
9780191619960
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Africa / General
History / Europe / France
History / Europe / General
History / Military / General
History / Revolutionary
Political Science / Colonialism & Post-Colonialism
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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From the Hardcover edition.

Part of the Modern History for Modern Languages Series

France since 1815

provides an accessible overview of the major socio-political changes in France during this period. Designed for area studies students studying French, it presents the historical context necessary for language students to understand the complexities of contemporary French society. Adopting a chronological approach, it surveys nearly two hundred years of French history, with events covered including The French Revolution, The Bourbon Restoration, The Third Republic, Occupied France, The Fourth Republic, The Gaullist Revolution and France after 2003.

This revised edition includes new material that focuses on Chirac's second mandate (Iraq war, religion, suburbs and the inability/impossibility of carrying on with reform), an assessment of the controversial Sarkozy presidency, and a final chapter covering the last ten years, culminating in the results of the French presidential elections in 2012.

Features include:

clear timelines of main events and suggested topics for discussion

glossary inserts throughout of key terms and concepts

the use of primary documents to re-create and understand the past

free access to a website (http://www.port.ac.uk/special/france1815to2003/) containing a wealth of complementary material

Drawing on the best scholarship, particular emphasis has been given to the role of political memory, the contribution of women and the impact of colonialism and post-colonialism. The relationship between France and her European partners is analysed in greater depth and there are new sections explicitly situating France and the French within a wider transnational/global perspective.

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