At the time, this brutal, intractable conflict seemed like a French affair. But from the perspective of half a century, it looks less like the last colonial war than the first postmodern one: a full-dress rehearsal for the amorphous struggle that convulsed the Balkans in the 1990s and that now ravages the Middle East, struggles in which religion, nationalism, imperialism, and terrorism assume unparalleled degrees of intensity.
©1977 Alistair Horne; (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"[This] universally acclaimed history...should have been mandatory reading for the civilian and military leaders who opted to invade Iraq." (Washington Times)
When I left my last military command, I purchased several copies of this book to give to my subordinates. The book professes to provide as complete an account as possible of the Algerian war, and the author seems to do so with professionalism, integrity, and honesty. I have simply never read as fair or as comprehensive a historical account of war as this. The limitations in source material are explicitly recognized in the introduction, and the opinions of the author and conclusions exogenous to the subject at hand are both left to the preface and eminently reasonable and defensible. An incredible, fascinating read.
I've always been very aware of the Algerian War, but I never knew about it in any depth. This books goes from its beginning to the end of the French role in Algeria. The rise of De Gaulle, and the OAS are startling to those who didn't live through this period in history.
Avid "reader" of history - military and with a more British slant the past few years. Rarely read novels but Anthony Powell's DTMoTime zomg
I knew very little about this war. I do remember seeing it constantly referenced in the news as a child in late fifties and sixties. Being an amateur historian I eventually knew more than just the basics but until I read this book - whoa! Utterly fascinating and extremely well researched.
The reader is wonderful and greatly leverages all aspects of this well written history.
Well researched, written, and narrated. Interesting book about a conflict I knew close to nothing about.
A Savage War of Peace is an excellent account of the French in Algeria. The author provides us with excellent analysis while still maintaining a lack of bias. The lessons that can be drawn from this account are very relevant today for fighting insurgencies.
Army's attempt to overthrow the French Government.
Translate all statements into English. Having the characters speak apparently critical statements in French without an English translation is very, very annoying and made me think I missed some important part of the issue.
Yes, assuming that if it is an English movie all the characters would speak English.
pros and cons
This is an absolutely great listen. I have learned a tremendous amount from this book. It is worth noting that this is a classic, liberal account which seems to work from the assumption that the great tragedy of the war is that the liberal and progressive idea of Algerie Francais was never realized. It is a bit dated in language at times. But overall, it's a riveting account.
Absolutely. This book is a detailed primer on the urban, counter-insurgency warfare that we as U.S. citizens will face in the post Cold War era. If you want to understand the dynamics of our occupation of Iraq, this book will help you see that our experience was part of a long standing pattern,
Chris Hedges: War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning. They both help the U.S. citizen, who is not part of our professional army, wrap his or her head around the consequences of modern war.
This book is not about interesting characters. It's about how the 90% of people who end up as spectators of a war are affected by it.
General Charl's decision to join the coup. He seemed like a good man, knowing he was doing the wrong thing, but he was overcome by the sense of responsibility to the thousands of Algerians soldiers he promised he would never abandon to the FLN.
Only my thanks to Alistair Horne for writing such an enlightening book.
First if I have to rate this book on a 5 point scale I guess I have to give it a 3, but really I would say it's higher than that but I can't justify giving it a 4.
This book covers a point in history I knew almost nothing about -- which can make it more interesting but also more interesting since I don't know the outcome of each event. The downside is trying to keep track of who is who, a nearly 30-hour book mixed with French and foreign locations can make it hard to follow at times, but normally skipping back a minute or two takes care of that issue. The book is very long, I normally like that but for the reasons stated it was a chore to get all the way through, but I did and I did learn quite a bit even if I wasn't as entertained as I normally am when learning new material.
One thing that was annoying was at the beginning of the book when the author feels that its necessary to lecture the listener about the evils of torture and how ineffective it is. I would like to note to the author that the biggest torturers in the book, the FLN, won. That doesn't mean I promote the usage of it, but It was a very annoying, anti-logical point to hear. To be fair this isn't an anti-US book so while you might be annoyed for a couple of minutes here or there it doesn't ruin the book, it's just kind of annoying.
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