North Africa, Nationalism to Nationhood

North Africa, Nationalism to Nationhood

North Africa, Nationalism to Nationhood

North Africa, Nationalism to Nationhood

Excerpt

Lorna Hahn has performed an important scholarly and public service in this book. It stands unique as an effort to draw together the pattern of events in all of North Africa during these past years. Her chapters, which have both historic perspective and contemporary political detail, give us an image of North African nationalism seen in its proper context. For inescapably the nationalist movements in Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria have common thread and interconnections. The relentless war in Algeria is not a self-contained historic drama nor were the independence movements in Morocco and Tunisia. The greatest tragedy of the Algerian war has been the fact that its influences cannot be isolated but that they have poisoned Western relations with almost all of Africa and at the same time drained constructive energies and unities in the West.

Lorna Hahn's book was completed at a time when a higher sense of realism was triumphing in the policy of the French government and in the tone of French public opinion. There appears a chance that statesmanship can build a bridge between Algerians and French on the basis of self-determination. Equally important, the initiatives taken by the De Gaulle regime offer hope that there may still be a chance to alleviate the dangers of barren nationalism in North Africa through the construction of some kind of federal arrangement which would maintain ties with France and the West.

Whatever these future months hold, the author has provided the general reader with a clear canvas from which to obtain an understanding of North African affairs. She has plotted with care and understanding the course of events in the Maghreb and illuminated the flash points of decision. Both the perils and the opportunities for our country in North Africa are given new meaning in these pages.

JOHN F. KENNEDY

Washington, D. C.

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