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52 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Experience and reflection
One of my first experiences of living in Paris was taking the stopping train from the centre of the city back out to CDG airport for a flight home to London. The carriage was crowded, standing room only, meaning it held maybe sixty or eighty or one hundred people. I was the only white person. Notwithstanding, the courtesy I was afforded, when to my surprise a young man...
Published 14 months ago by Chris Hickey

versus
21 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Apart from Franglish it is very biased
Before discussing the ideological content (and the content is always ideological, extremely rarely historical and hardly sociological) let me evacuate an irritating surface of the book.

THE SLOPPY SURFACE

There are very numerous mistakes at the level of the spelling, the plain syntax, the general proofreading that was sloppy and careless. Apart from...
Published 7 months ago by Jacques COULARDEAU


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52 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Experience and reflection, 22 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: The French Intifada: The Long War Between France and its Arabs (Hardcover)
One of my first experiences of living in Paris was taking the stopping train from the centre of the city back out to CDG airport for a flight home to London. The carriage was crowded, standing room only, meaning it held maybe sixty or eighty or one hundred people. I was the only white person. Notwithstanding, the courtesy I was afforded, when to my surprise a young man was told to stand up and offer me his seat, I was left with the shocking sense of the racial separation that characterises France’s capital city. I learned later that a faster, non-stop train goes straight to CDG airport. You will hardly find a black person on it.
Andrew Hussey’s book begins with a chilling description of the realities of life of the black and Arab-origin populations in the banlieues north of Paris through which my stopping train travelled, cross-referenced to the comparable realities of the outskirts of Lyon and Marseille. The strength of his writing is not just that he gives a sense of how and why the young men of these districts have come into the centre of these cities to burn cars and riot, and sometimes to kill, but he makes you wonder why there isn’t more of it.
It would be easy but wrong to dismiss the challenges in France as comparable to the ones we face in England. Hussey shows how French republican fervour, the determined belief that everyone is not only free but equal – the same - means that the colour of someone’s skin is considered irrelevant. Under republican orthodoxy, the separation of whites in the centre of the city and blacks around the outside is not a legitimate concern.
The French experience of colonialism was very different from ours, especially where its relations with its North African neighbours were concerned. Geographical proximity, the short distance of a narrow sea, makes comparisons with the British experience in Ireland valid to some extent. Hussey gives a brief account of the recent history of the Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia from where the immigrant communities are descended. One result being that the disenfranchised diaspora in the banlieues of Paris is Muslim by background, in a contemporary world where the call of Islamist insurrection is loud and the threat of terrorism very real. Hussey argues that the official response, of arrest and imprisonment, not only fails to deal with this threat but actively creates a school of radicalisation.
What do they think, and how do they feel? Not many white people have taken the time and trouble, and the risk, to go into the banlieues and the prisons to try and find out. The strength of non-identity of second and third generation immigrant French men, educated in France, yet who truly hate the country of their birth is placed in the context of the history of their parents and grandparents. The quality of the pied noir experience in the Maghreb, and the viciousness of the breaking of this recent history, creates a negativity and menace which, in a world where Islamist philosophy remains a determined threat to the West, is something we all need to understand better, before it is too late.
The French Intifada is an account by someone who has gone there, seen it, and reflected with intelligent concern. Hussey’s engaging and highly readable mix of personal experience and contemporary reporting, combined with the reflective eye of historian, literary critic and cultural commentator, helps to address the question of how we have all reached the point we are at today. Leading to the profoundly worrying question of where are we going?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great context., 28 Mar. 2015
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This is a rare book of astute journalistic investigations into France and its ex-colonial Arabic countries of Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. I loved the book as it gave me (bred in an Anglophile culture) a great historical context of the altercation between the French and its Arab subjects. This relationship was different as unlike the English who colonized only for business purposes, the French actually wanted to civilize its new colonies. That explains the current insistence of the French when they want their new Muslim citizens to be French first and Muslim second. Nationalism and religion invoke extreme emotions as they form the basic core of identity. Asking the Muslims to chose between one or the other can induce partial or total alienation of the self, which may force extreme reactions. All extreme situations create extremists.

This war is not just a conflict between Islam and the West but a conflict between two very experiences of the world -- the colonizers and the colonized. The rioting Arab kids like the Taliban are fighting to let us know that they exist and they hate society as it is.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars insight into french colonial attitudes, 12 May 2014
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This review is from: The French Intifada: The Long War Between France and its Arabs (Hardcover)
The book is a fine analysis of the relation between France and its erstwhile colonies , and reveals a callous attitude to that
indigenous population The impression is that France has become two states, with no dialogue between them
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bad things you never knew about the French, 25 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: The French Intifada: The Long War Between France and its Arabs (Hardcover)
This book was a revelation to me. France is our nearest neighbour but Hussey's book reminded me of how little I really know about the place despite having been there on and off for the past 40 years, It lifts the lid on the nastiness of French attitudes; the naked anti-seimitism, the unvarnished racism. I knew little about the French colonial experience in North Africa - this book filled in the gaps. But its true value is that it tells you things the French never tell you themselves: the face France presents to the world - cultivated, stylish, civilised - is a facade which hides a deeply unpleasant truth. The book isn't perfect - it's over-long, some of the writing is ugly and obscures the meaning of what Hussey wants to say. But for anyone who wants better to understand La Belle France better I thoroughly reccomend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cor Blimey Guvnor, 5 Feb. 2015
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Great Book, outlining with precision and clarity the origins to the current problems facing France and other European countries relating to the rise and rise of 'angry young people' who espouse the Muslim faith.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Living in Paris this explains of a lot of the ..., 5 Feb. 2015
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Living in Paris this explains of a lot of the what you see here - a two tier city with the white French in the centre and everyone else on the edge of the city - a gripping and engrossing read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars insightful, 2 Mar. 2015
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Clearly written with a sense for the historic perspective. Very insightful. Would have liked a sense as to what the endgame is.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A very readable explanation of the turbulent relationship between France ..., 7 April 2015
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A very readable explanation of the turbulent relationship between France, Algeria. and Islam
Andrew Hussy has done extensive 'on the ground' research and has spent many years in France and understands the complex relationship between France and its North African immigrant population.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent insight to a real French challenge, 6 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: The French Intifada: The Long War Between France and its Arabs (Hardcover)
Anyone who wishes to see the challenges that lie ahead for France should read this book. They have a ticking time bomb in their absolute failure to integrate the North African immigrants who have moved in their millions to France in the last half century.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very Interesting, 17 May 2015
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This I found very interesting because I knew nothing about the impact of Algeria on France. And, of course, the enormous impact of France on Algeria. It's quite sad really how the whole thing was managed. Other countries that had colonies were no better.
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The French Intifada: The Long War Between France and its Arabs
The French Intifada: The Long War Between France and its Arabs by Andrew Hussey (Hardcover - 6 Mar. 2014)
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