An examination of the complicated history between France and Algeria since the latter's independence.
While most related studies concentrate on the colonial era and Algeria's War of Independence, France and Algeria details the nations' postcolonial relationship. Phillip Naylor provides a philosophical approach, contending that France reformulated, rather than repudiated, “essential" strategic values during decolonization. It thus continued to pursue grandeur and independence, especially with regard to the Third World and Algeria, an essentialism that expedited France's postcolonial transformation. But as a new nation, Algeria needed to pursue the “existential" project of self-definition. It became involved in state-building while also promulgating socialism, and it recognized how French oil concessions in the Sahara impeded its independence, leading to the industry's post-colonial decolonization. Finally, the postcolonial relationship has featured a human dimension involving immigrants, pieds-noirs (colonial settlers), and harkis (Algerian soldiers loyal to France), all of them central to bilateral relations.
In this revised and updated edition of his seminal work, first published over twenty years ago, Naylor expands his coverage of the decolonization era, drawing on new information while continuing to study the ever-evolving relationship between the two countries. These new additions expose the continually shifting relations of power, perception, and identity between the two states.
Phillip Naylor is an emeritus professor of history at Marquette University and a coeditor of the Journal of North African Studies. He is the author of North Africa: A History from Antiquity to the Present and Historical Dictionary of Algeria and a coeditor of State and Society in Algeria.
Some two decades after its original publication, France and Algeria remains the definitive study of postcolonial French-Algerian relations, and this new edition brings the work up to date, into the twenty-first century. Phillip Naylor’s efforts to include the most recent decade and the 2019 Hirak movement represent a significant addition.
~Benjamin Brower, author of A Desert Named Peace: The Violence of French Empire in the Algerian Sahara, 1844-1902
The virtues of Naylor’s book are the broad scope of his account and the informative detail of his narrative . . . This work will be necessary reading for anybody interested in twentieth-century France and Algeria or the history of decolonization.
~American Historical Review
Naylor has demonstrated brilliantly the interconnectedness of the histories of Algeria and France throughout the post-colonial era. His framework of analysis enables a fresh look at the often complex and convoluted relations between the two countries after 1962 . . . [He] adeptly combines a sophisticated theoretical approach with solid empirical research that is presented in a smooth narrative style that carries the reader through the argument.
~Peace & Change
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