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Download A Savage War of Peace: Algeria 1954–1962 Audiobook

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4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (478 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Alistair Horne Narrator: James Adam Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The Algerian War lasted from 1954 to 1962. It brought down six French governments, led to the collapse of the Fourth Republic, returned de Gaulle to power, and came close to provoking a civil war on French soil. More than a million Muslim Algerians died in the conflict, and as many European settlers were driven into exile. Above all, the war was marked by an unholy marriage of revolutionary terror and repressive torture.

Nearly half a century has passed since this savagely fought war ended in Algeria’s independence, and yet its repercussions continue to be felt not only in Algeria and France but throughout the world. Indeed, from today’s vantage point the Algerian War looks like a full-dress rehearsal for the sort of amorphous struggle that convulsed the Balkans in the 1990s and that now ravages the Middle East, from Beirut to Baghdad—struggles in which questions of religion, nationalism, imperialism, and terrorism take on a new and increasingly lethal intensity.

A Savage War of Peace is the definitive history of the Algerian War, a book that brings that terrible and complicated struggle to life with intelligence, assurance, and unflagging momentum. It is essential reading for our own violent times as well as a lasting monument to the historian’s art.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[This] universally acclaimed history...should have been mandatory reading for the civilian and military leaders who opted to invade Iraq.”

    Washington Times

  • “This thirty-year-old history, written before the Iranian revolution, the Algerian civil war, and Al Qaeda, captures a contingent moment in the conflict between the West and the Arab world, when present-day dogmas were hardly imagined by most. It provides a much needed reminder that modern history is not made by the ‘clash of civilizations’ but by people.”


  • “‘Algeria’ has become almost a codeword among US counterinsurgency specialists—a shorthand for the depth and complexity of the mess we face in Iraq…anyone interested in Iraq should read this book immediately.”

    Washington Post Book World

  • “Compelling reading, filled with intimate detail about characters and situations that have served as inspiration for a dozen novels, from The Day of the Jackal on.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “James Adams reads this detailed history of Algeria’s fierce war of independence from France as if he’d written it. His strong, almost stern tone; good pacing; and vigorous, nuanced voice help draw one through the complex story…[A] strong, listenable presentation of a compelling history that has much to say about the present.”


Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Richard | 2/18/2014

    " So far...great. 600 odd pages, the personae dramatis reads like a Tolstoyan novel; the subject matter: the Algerian war, with three , to boil it down, belligerents, a France, the Pied Noir and OAS, Algerians....among all the above you have people and groups against the dominant individual and group, breaking off, coagulating again, seperating, madness......the FLN, were they justified in their murilations, their grand guignol horrofest, the OAS retribution, the FRench forces, the innocent people.....Oran, Algiers, Casbah.....all would become famous/infamous "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Sidhartha Deka | 2/12/2014

    " Great read on the history of the Algerian revolution. Bush administration used as a guidebook toward the invasion of Iraq. Must-read for policy hacks and contemporary historians. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Archer | 2/3/2014

    " Great book though not an easy nor a comfortable read. Very enlightening. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Glen | 2/3/2014

    " In the same vein as Lawrence's Seven Pillars, this is a wide angle view of the frustrating fight against thoroughly irrational Islamists in what should have been a benign nationalistic movement. If you want to learn what not to do when fighting an insurgency, read this book. I wish someone in the Bush administration had read it in the early 2000s instead of politely telling Mr. Horne where to stick it when he sent them a copy. "

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About the Author
Author Alistair Horne

Alistair Horne is the author of eighteen books. He is a fellow at St. Antony’s College, Oxford. In 1993 Horne was awarded the French Légion d’Honneur and in 2003 received a knighthood for his work on the history of France.