J’ai le plaisir d’informer mes amis et lecteurs de la parution d’une nouvelle recension de mon second livre Algérie, une autre histoire de l’indépendance (PUF, 2019) et parue cette semaine dans The Journal of North African Studies.
Voici les premières lignes de ce compte-rendu rédigé par l’historien Andrea Brazzoduro et intitulé “Reconsidering the history of Algerian independence: a book review essay” :
A breath of fresh air, a welcome gust of the innovative: that is what this book brings to the field of studies of contemporary Algeria and, in particular, to the realm of historiography about the political currents that animated Algerian nationalism before, during, and after the war for liberation. This work by Nedjib Sidi Moussa is the product of a vast doctoral project defended at the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne in 2013. Now it is finally published: simultaneously by PUF in France and Éditions Barzakh in Algeria, following a tendency to circulate scholarly works on both sides of the Mediterranean which has happily intensified in recent years. The novelty of the work is at least tripartite since, as befits every ambitious project, it has to do as much with the subject of study as with the method chosen and the sources selected.
If this is, then, ‘une autre histoire de l’indépendance’, as the title announces (emphasis added), it is because it deals not with the already well-known case of the Front de Libération Nationale (FLN) but that of its defeated rival, the Mouvement National Algérien (MNA), about which studies are still relatively scarce, after the pioneering ones by Harbi (1980), Stora (1982), and Meynier (2002). In independent Algeria, the MNA has indeed been the target of a fierce damnatio memoriae: its matters have been erased from textbooks and its militants accused of ‘treason’, if not collusion with the French. A process of Orwellian-like erasure has been in flavour, as the book’s epigraph reminds us: ‘This day-to-day falsification of the past, carried out by the Ministry of Truth, is as necessary to the stability of the régime as the work of repression and espionage carried out by the Ministry of Love’ (Orwell 2008, 243). Sidi Moussa’s book, then, is all the more welcome since the ‘fabuleux réveil de la mémoire’ (Siari Tengour and Soufi 2004, 267) which, beginning in the early 1990s, has hit the sequence of the war for liberation and given rise to a host of publications largely biographical in nature, has instead pushed to the margins (if not to the catacombs) the memories of the militants of the MNA.
La suite du texte est accessible (sous conditions) via ce lien : https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13629387.2021.1888609?journalCode=fnas20
L’ensemble des informations (présentations, recensions, entretiens ou évocations) relatives à ce livre est disponible via ce lien.