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September 2021

"L' histoire de l' Algerie" (A History of Algeria)

by Pierre Montagnon 

Pygmalion (French publisher)

The Book "L' Histoire de l' Algerie" is a book about the history of Algeria from it's origins up to the 1990s. The book begins with the period of "Numidian Algeria" and Carthage. It is a period where organised government is limited to the coast. Later the Romans will take over the area and maintain their presence for many centuries. This Algeria is still limited mostly to the coast and during Roman rule will become predominantly Christian. For a relatively short period, Algeria will be ruled by the Vandals before being conquered by the Roman Empire's eastern successor state, the Byzantine Empire. The Empire would maintain a presence in Algeria until its conquest by the Arabs in the early 8th century. It was during this period that Algerians would adopt Islam, which would later play an important role during European colonisation. Algeria would be ruled by various Arab dynasties until conquered by Barbarossa in the 16th century, with the help of Ottoman troops. Barbarossa then recognised Ottoman suzerainty, setting a precedent for the rest of the Ottoman period. The period of Ottoman rule would be brought to an end with the French invasion of 1830. This would also end piracy based in Algeria. The French would complete their conquest of Algeria by 1875 and the country would take it's modern shape with the addition of territory in the Sahara. French rule would see continued tension and reveal the potency of the Algerian's Muslim faith. The revolution of 1954 would, after years of war, bring French rule to an end. This was not the end of Algeria's troubles brought about by a series of dictatorships, Berber nationalism and religious extremism. The book gives an excellent insight into not only the territorial evolution of the Algeria nation, but  also the cultural and religious development of the country. The relationship with France is also extremely complex as were relations between Algerians and many previous conquerors. The book is a detailed historical account and reveals the complexity of the little-known history of the Maghreb.

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