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Colonialism denied Algeria its own history; nationalism reinvented it. James McDougall charts the creation of that history through colonialism to independence, exploring the struggle to define Algeria's past and determine the meaning of its nationhood. Through local histories, he analyses the relationship between history, Islamic culture and nationalism in Algeria. He confronts prevailing notions that nationalism emancipated Algerian history, and that Algeria's past has somehow determined its present, violence breeding violence, tragedy repeating itself. Instead, he argues, nationalism was a new kind of domination, in which multiple memories and possible futures were effaced. But the histories hidden by nationalism remain below the surface, and can be recovered to create alternative visions for the future. This is an exceptional and engaging book, rich in analysis and documentation. It will be read by colonial historians and social theorists as well as by scholars of the Middle East and North Africa.Read more
- First critical study of Algerian nationalism available in English
- Valuable addition to the literature on colonialism, post-colonial culture and politics, nationalism and national identity, popular culture and the formation of nation-states, and twentieth-century Islam
- Interdisciplinary research combining historical, sociological and anthropological analysis
Reviews & endorsements
"This book is a must read for scholars of Islam as well as of the Maghrib and ought to be reprinted in paperback to become more widely available to students, journalists, and others interested in the contemporary Muslim world." - Clement M. Henry, Professor of Government, The University of Texas at Austin, Middle East JournalSee more reviews
"A very complex, highly original book that is essential reading for anyone wishing to understand both the origins of Algerian nationalism and the ends to which its contradictions have led." - Leland Conley Barrows
"McDougall's book is an outstanding achievement and contribution to modern Algerian history.... This book is deeply researched with very impressive readings and renderings of Arabic literature testifying to McDougall's skills as a gifted historial and linguist. A map and eighteen illustrations enhance the work. Advanced students and specialists, especially those familiar with postmodern critical theory, will benefit most from it. Nevertheless, McDougall's work will undoubtedly serve as an essential reference for any study of the historical development of Algerian nationalism." - International Journal of Middle East Studies
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- Date Published: December 2008
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521103671
- length: 284 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 152 x 16 mm
- weight: 0.42kg
- contains: 18 b/w illus. 1 map
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
The language of history
Prologue: Tunis, 1899
1. The margins of a world in fragments
2. The conquest conquered?
3. The doctors of new religion
4. Saint cults and ancestors
5. Arabs and Berbers?
Epilogue: Algiers, 2001
The invention of authenticity
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