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We are no longer in France

Communists in colonial Algeria

By Allison Drew

We are no longer in France

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Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-0675-9
  • Pages: 328
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £19.99
  • Published Date: February 2017
  • BIC Category: European history, Colonialism & imperialism, Humanities / European history, HISTORY / Europe / France, HISTORY / Europe / General, Humanities / Colonialism & imperialism, History, France
  • Series: Studies in Imperialism

Description

This book recovers the lost history of colonial Algeria's communist movement. Meticulously researched - and the only English-language book on the Parti Communiste Algérien - it explores communism's complex relationship with Algerian nationalism. During international crises, such as the Popular Front and Second World War years, the PCA remained close to its French counterpart, but as the national liberation struggle intensified, the PCA's concern with political and social justice attracted growing numbers of Muslims. When the Front de Libération Nationale launched armed struggle in November 1954, the PCA maintained its organisational autonomy - despite FLN pressure. They participated fully in the national liberation war, facing the French state's wrath. Independence saw two conflicting socialist visions, with the PCA's incorporated political pluralism and class struggle on the one hand, and the FLN demand for a one-party socialist state on the other. The PCA's pluralist vision was shattered when it was banned by the one-party state in November 1962. This book is of particular interest to students and scholars of Algerian history, French colonial history and communist history.

Reviews

'Neville Alexander and Henri Alleg would be pleased and proud to read this superbly researched, carefully documented, absolutely fair-minded and accurate account. It is well structured, with a useful list of abbreviations, tables and maps. If there is an archive Professor Drew has not consulted, a surviving participant whom she did not interview, a relevant book or article and memoir she did not consult, I am unaware of it.'
David L. Schalk, Science and society Vol. 80, No. 3, July 2016

'Drew has told the story of communist political action in Algeria in great detail, with attention to numerous individuals. At times, the number of names in play becomes overwhelming and the description of congress after congress seems excessive. But the tale is worth telling, and this kind of careful narrative is an essential building block for any analysis of the range of possibilities that opened and shut during the years of struggle over what kind of polity in what kind of wider political configuration ? whether communist or imperial, national or federal - Algeria could be. In the end, Drew doesn't explicitly answer the question of what the relationship of communism and nationalism actually was. But that question has no single answer, and she has given us a rich narrative of a struggle whose complexity is well worth pondering.'
Frederick Cooper, Department of History, New York University, Canadian Journal Of African Studies/La Revue Canadienne Des Études Africaines, July 2016

'We Are No Longer in France is a concisely written, empirically dense, and thought-provoking case study which illuminates the profound impact of the conflict between nationalism and internationalism on global anti-colonial communism in the twentieth century. [.] Its language is precise, its citations are meticulous, and its bibliography is extensive, ensuring its place as a key reference work that will be useful to a wide range of scholars, as well as to advanced undergraduate and graduate students of colonial, imperial, and European political history.'
Michelle Rose Mann, Washington State University, H-France, Vol. 18 (2018)

Contents

Introduction: Imagining socialism and communism in Algeria
1. The land and its conquest
2. Grappling for a communist foothold
3. 'The mountain "was going communist"': peasant struggles on the Mitidja
4. 'This land is not for sale': communists, nationalists and the popular front
5. The nation in formation: communists and nationalists during the Second World War
6. For an Algerian national front: unity and division in the liberation struggle
7. Sparking an insurrection: pressure from the countryside
8. 'Our people will overcome': to the cities and the prisons
9. 'We need a country that talks': imagining the future Algeria
Conclusion: Algerian communists and the new Algeria
Bibliography
Index

Author

Allison Drew is an Honorary Professor at the Centre for African Studies, University of Cape Town and Professor Emerita at the University of York

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