Algeria in Turmoil: A History of the Rebellion

Algeria in Turmoil: A History of the Rebellion

Algeria in Turmoil: A History of the Rebellion

Algeria in Turmoil: A History of the Rebellion

Excerpt

"Autre est de savoir en gros l'existence d'une chose, autre d'en connaitre les particularités."

CHATEAUBRIAND

This book, like a newspaper, contains both fact and comment. My purpose, first of all, has been to make a contribution to the record. But in chronicling the Algerian story from 1943 to 1958 (with brief flashbacks to the French conquest and to the first stirring of Algerian nationalism prior to World Wax II), I have pursued the goal of analytical, rather than merely descriptive, objectivity. This has involved an attempt to seize the meaning of events and to anticipate their consequences. It was essential, therefore, to present the nationalist rebellion as fax as possible in its rather intricate historical setting. The rebellion itself has so profoundly altered the outlook in Algeria that I felt compelled to follow the first year or so of its development with some attention to detail. If the outbreak of the rebellion on November 1, 1954, was an important landmark, the demonstrations of February, 1956, were another, for they revealed the depth and intensity of the European reaction. By March, 1956, the issues had largely crystallized; the matter stands now virtually as it did then. I have, as a result, been able to carry the story forward into 1957 and 1958 in broader sweeps.

I am aware that, even in the light of fuller knowledge, many Americans will reject my opinions. For, despite the ruthless colonization of our forebears, the United States is a country where anticolonialism remains a national dogma. It is a country, too, where precedent and convention too often hold individual judgment in a vise of conformity. Paul Valéry once wrote: "Obedient to a sort of law of the least effort . . .

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