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Eyes to the South: French Anarchists & Algeria
Eyes to the South explores important issues from the last six tumultuous decades of Algerian history, including French colonial rule, nationalist revolution, experiments in workers' self-management, the rise of radical Islamist politics, an insurgent revival of traditional decentralist resistance and political structures, conflicts over cultural identity, women's emancipation, and major "blowback" on the ex-colonial power itself. David Porter's nuanced examination of these issues helps to clarify Algeria's current political, economic, and social conditions, and resonates with continuing conflicts and change in Africa and the Middle East more generally. At the same time, Eyes to the South describes and analyzes the observers themselves—the various components of the French anarchist movement?and helps to clarify and enrich the discussion of issues such as national liberation, violence, revolution, the role of religion, liberal democracy, worker self-management, and collaboration with statists in the broader anarchist and anti-authoritarian movements.
What People Are Saying
"Porter's sensitive, learned, and accessible account is highly recommended for anyone wishing to acquire a deeper knowledge of the history of modern Algeria, as well as of the range of anarchist approaches, in both France and Algeria, to the pathways of Algerian politics before and since independence." —Mohammed Bamyeh, author of Anarchy as Order: The History and Future of Civic Humanity
"This alternate history of Algeria's struggle to eliminate French rule and transform itself from the inside makes it clear that the grassroots urge to mobilize for social justice in North Africa didn't begin and won't end with 2011's Arab Spring." —Maia Ramnath, author of Decolonizing Anarchism
"Eyes to the South makes a significant and valuable contribution to a small but growing literature analyzing the complex and problematic engagement of anarchists with decolonization in general, and Algeria in particular." —David Berry, author of A History of the French Anarchist Movement, 1917 to 1945
About the Author
David Porter, a professor emeritus at SUNY/Empire State College, taught politics and history, including courses on modern Algeria. David is the editor of Vision on Fire: Emma Goldman on the Spanish Revolution and an analyst of the recent "leaderless revolutions" of the Middle East and North Africa.
Sylvain Boulouque is a historian and author of Les anarchistes franais face aux guerres coloniales (1945–1962).
Published by AK Press in 2011