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The French Intifada by [Hussey, Andrew]
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The French Intifada Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews

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Length: 465 pages Word Wise: Enabled

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Review

'I'm looking forward to The French Intifada. With the troubled banlieues as his starting point, Hussey visits the frontlines of a guerrilla struggle that has been going on since 1800, from the Gare du Nord to the souks of Marrakech, to the mosques of Tangier.' --'2014 non-fiction preview', Rachel Cooke, Observer

'Hussey's as much at home with hip-hop and gruesome Islamist videos as he is talking to buttoned-up French prison officials. I admire Andrew Hussey's book because he has had the courage to go where I didn't' --Nick Fraser, Observer

'Hussey is an engaging guide writing with authority and humour about everything from Zinedine Zidane to architecture. He manages to make what at times is a terrible tale into a fascinating and enjoyable read' --Irish Examiner

'The French Intifada mixes lively street reportage with the history of two brutal centuries in France's former Maghreb territories. This is strong stuff' --New Statesman

'Disturbing and provocative' --Daily Telegraph

'Urgent and brilliant… Superb writing on the complexities of race, religion and immigration that situates this in the legacies of Empire and colonialism' --Huffington Post

'Disturbing and provocative' --Daily Telegraph

'Hussey's narrative strategy is to combine the job of a historian with that of a reporter, and he evinces gusto for being on the ground. His writing is lively and well paced' --Times Literary Supplement

'Disturbing and provocative' --Daily Telegraph

'Indispensable' -- 'Books of the Year' Spectator chosen by Patrick Marnham --'Book of the Year' chosen by Patrick Marnham, Spectator

'Andrew Hussey is a British academic who knows France and its colonial history better than most French people. He tells the ugly truth. Vivid… Hussey is descriptive not prescriptive. He offers no solutions, but his willingness to delve into other belief systems is a worth-while, sobering journey. French officials should read Hussey's book' --Paperback review, Irish Times

'Fascinating and hugely readable… Hussey makes a strong case' --Pick of the Paperbacks, Sunday Times

From the Inside Flap

Beyond the affluent centre of Paris and other French cities, in the deprived banlieues, a war is going on. This is the French Intifada, a guerrilla war between the French state and the former subjects of its Empire, for whom the mantra of 'liberty, equality, fraternity' conceals a bitter history of domination, oppression, and brutality. This war began in the early 1800s, with Napoleon's lust for martial adventure, strategic power and imperial preeminence, and led to the armed colonization of Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, and decades of bloody conflict, all in the name of 'civilization'. Here, against the backdrop of the Arab Spring, Andrew Hussey walks the front lines of this war - from the Gare du Nord in Paris to the souks of Marrakesh and the mosques of Tangier - to tell the strange and complex story of the relationship between secular, republican France and the Muslim world of North Africa. The result is a completely new portrait of an old nation. Combining a fascinating and compulsively readable mix of history, politics and literature with Hussey's years of personal experience travelling across the Arab World, The French Intifada reveals the role played by the countries of the Maghreb in shaping French history, and explores the challenge being mounted by today's dispossessed heirs to the colonial project: a challenge that is angrily and violently staking a claim on France's future.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 876 KB
  • Print Length: 465 pages
  • Publisher: Granta Books (6 Mar. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00GPDN5IK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #156,441 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent book,a light to understanding the problems between the French and the French North Africans.
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Format: Paperback
This is a very good book. Hussey delivers what can only be described as an appraisal of France's secret civil war with it's own Muslim Arab immigrant population. I realise how unlikely that scenario sounds, but the author's evidence is very compelling as well as significantly unnerving too. There are some serious divisions within French society that show no signs of going away and the author explains why this is the case by analysing in-depth present day French politics. Hussey also goes on to explain how French colonial history in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia have also contributed to this tense state of affairs.

Hussey knows his subject well and this clearly shows in his writing as he identifies the current situation in France today; Predominantly white, well maintained, metropolitan cities bordered by run down and poorly funded suburbs (the 'banlieues') housing significant numbers of Arab and North African Muslim migrants. As highlighted, these Migrants are unhappy, very unhappy indeed, at what they see as their marginalisation by mainstream French society. However, they are a people consumed by a deep hatred for their former colonial master. They hate France and all she stands for. This anger has led to violent civil disruption and riots on a scale which, if they'd occurred in other European nations, would have led to serious political upheaval. But not in France. Such anger and thirst for revenge is apparently normal behaviour in there.

A large amount of this anger and hatred amongst the immigrant population stems from the French history in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. Whilst none of the European power's empires can claim to be truly benevolent, French conduct in all three nations has left a lot to be desired, particularly in Algeria.
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Format: Kindle Edition
An excellent read from a very competent and knowledgeable commentator. The book primarily focuses on French colonial history in North Africa and what a bloody violent disaster that was in it's circa hundred year history there. All colonisations' of foreign peoples are ultimately disastrous but the French experience was exceptionally awful ,even worse than the British or Portuguese. France is the world leader in architecture, cuisine and fashion, but comes a depressing last place with Belgium in colonial administration.

Contemporary France is addressed in the early chapters and Hussey paints a dismal picture . In essence he views Islamic immigration as a reverse form of colonisation which is just as much a failure as the original French occupation of North Africa. It is already bloody and likely to become even bloodier.

I write this on the day of a terrorist attack in Manchester with 22 children dead. This book seems especially prophetic. A further example to our blindness, our failure to learn from history and our total unwillingness to make the hard decisions.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: Paperback
It seems that most, if not all, of the terrorists that attacked Paris on 13 November 2015 were French. Only they did not feel French. Their allegiances were elsewhere. But what motivated them? This is one of the books that I have read to find out an answer.
What I found was a bleak account where the division between France and its Arab populations seems utterly stark and unbridgeable. It starts with a riot the author witnesses at the Gare de Nord in 2007. The account turns to recent incidents, the torture and murder of a young Jewish salesman in 2006, the murders at a Jewish school in 2012 and then a chronicle of colonial history in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. A concluding chapter deals with radicalisation in French prisons.

In some respects, a standard liberal explanation is offered – the struggle ‘between the colonisers and the colonised’ is the catch phrase of this book. He doesn’t however draw liberal conclusions. He thinks that the rage of the so-called dispossessed is implacable. It is not merely an equalities issue. ‘F*** France!’ is the refrain of the alienated and they mean f*** everything French, A to Z. What they want is not liberty, equality and fraternity but revenge. France, according to Hussey, does not need a hard-headed political solution but an exorcist.

Strong, bracing stuff. So why only three stars? Not on account of its writing – he writes fantastically well – but because there is too much reliance on psychological explanations. I don’t have a problem per se with that but there is no attempt to get data to scope the scale of the problem. This is partially because statistics are not kept.
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