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A Desert Named Peace: The Violence of France's Empire in the Algerian Sahara, 1844-1902
Contributor(s): Brower, Benjamin (Author)

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ISBN: 0231154925     ISBN-13: 9780231154925
Publisher: Columbia University Press
OUR PRICE: $126.00  

Binding Type: Hardcover - See All Available Formats & Editions
Published: July 2009
Temporarily out of stock - Will ship within 2 to 5 weeks

Click for more in this series: History and Society of the Modern Middle East (Hardcover)
Additional Information
BISAC Categories:
- History | Africa - North
- History | Europe - France
- History | Middle East - General
Dewey: 965.03
LCCN: 2009007514
Age Level: 22-UP
Grade Level: 17-UP
Series: History and Society of the Modern Middle East (Hardcover)
Physical Information: 1.33" H x 6.27" W x 9.31" L (1.65 lbs) 480 pages
- Cultural Region - French
- Chronological Period - 19th Century
- Chronological Period - 1900-1919
- Cultural Region - North Africa
- Cultural Region - Middle East
Features: Bibliography, Dust Cover, Index, Table of Contents
Review Citations: Chronicle of Higher Education 08/07/2009 pg. 17
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.
Publisher Description:
In the mid-nineteenth century, French colonial leaders in Algeria started southward into the Sahara, beginning a fifty-year period of violence. Lying in the shadow of the colonization of northern Algeria, which claimed the lives of over a million people, French empire in the Sahara sought power through physical force as it had elsewhere; yet violence in the Algerian Sahara followed a more complicated logic than the old argument that it was simply a way to get empire on the cheap.

A Desert Named Peace examines colonial violence through multiple stories and across several fields of research. It presents four cases: the military conquests of the French army in the oases and officers' predisposition to use extreme violence in colonial conflicts; a spontaneous nighttime attack made by Algerian pastoralists on a French village, as notable for its brutality as for its obscure causes; the violence of indigenous forms of slavery and the colonial accommodations that preserved it during the era of abolition; and the struggles of French Romantics whose debates about art and politics arrived from Paris with disastrous consequences.

Benjamin Claude Brower uses these different perspectives to reveal the unexpected causes of colonial violence, such as France's troubled revolutionary past and its influence on the military's institutional culture, the aesthetics of the sublime and its impact on colonial thinking, the ecological crises suffered by Saharan pastoralists under colonial rule, and the conflicting paths to authority inherent in Algerian Sufism. Directly engaging a controversial history, A Desert Named Peace offers an important backdrop to understanding the Algerian war for independence (1954-1962) and Algeria's ongoing internal war, begun in 1992, between the government and armed groups that claim to fight for an Islamist revolution.

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