Search our site
Persons Unknown by Susie Steiner Read the opening extract of the brand new Susie Steiner book before its publication on 05/04/2018

Albert Camus the Algerian Colonialism, Terrorism, Justice by David Carroll

Albert Camus the Algerian Colonialism, Terrorism, Justice


Albert Camus the Algerian Colonialism, Terrorism, Justice by David Carroll

In these original readings of Albert Camus' novels, short stories, and political essays, David Carroll concentrates on Camus' conflicted relationship with his Algerian background and finds important critical insights into questions of justice, the effects of colonial oppression, and the deadly cycle of terrorism and counterterrorism that characterized the Algerian War and continues to surface in the devastation of postcolonial wars today. During France's dirty war in Algeria, Camus called for an end to the violence perpetrated against civilians by both France and the Algerian National Liberation Front (FLN) and supported the creation of a postcolonial, multicultural, and democratic Algeria. His position was rejected by most of his contemporaries on the Left and has, ironically, earned him the title of colonialist sympathizer as well as the scorn of important postcolonial critics. Carroll rescues Camus' work from such criticism by emphasizing the Algerian dimensions of his literary and philosophical texts and by highlighting in his novels and short stories his understanding of both the injustice of colonialism and the tragic nature of Algeria's struggle for independence. By refusing to accept that the sacrifice of innocent human lives can ever be justified, even in the pursuit of noble political goals, and by rejecting simple, ideological binaries (West vs. East, Christian vs. Muslim, us vs. them, good vs. evil), Camus' work offers an alternative to the stark choices that characterized his troubled times and continue to define our own. What they didn't like, was the Algerian, in him, Camus wrote of his fictional double in The First Man. Not only should the Algerian in Camus be liked, Carroll argues, but the Algerian dimensions of his literary and political texts constitute a crucial part of their continuing interest. Carroll's reading also shows why Camus' critical perspective has much to contribute to contemporary debates stemming from the global war on terror.


Carroll's outstanding study is both a scholarly and an engaging reading of this appealing French-Algerian thinker. Library Journal [A] timely study of Camus

. -- Lewis Jones Financial Times Weekend Magazine [Carroll's] re-reading of Camus is not only insightful and provocative, but also reminds us of the enduring relevance of Camus's voice. -- Susan Tarrow Modern & Contemporary France An exceptional book. -- Ralph Schoolcraft III South Central Review Carroll's study will surely become the definitive work on Camus for years to come. -- Janice Gross French Review

About the Author

David Carroll is professor of French and past director of the Critical Theory Institute, former chair of the Department of French and Italian, and past director of the European Studies Program at the University of California, Irvine. His books include French Literary Fascism: Nationalism, Anti-Semitism, and the Ideology of Culture; Paraesthetics: Foucault, Lyotard, Derrida; and The Subject in Question: The Languages of Theory and the Strategies of Fiction . He is also the editor of a collection of essays entitled The States of Theory and is currently working on a book entitled Crises in French Identity: From the Dreyfus Affair to the Present .

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

23rd October 2008


David Carroll

More books by David Carroll
Author 'Like for Like'


Columbia University Press


256 pages


Literary studies: fiction, novelists & prose writers
Literary studies: from c 1900 -
Politics & government



For me, to read is to learn, to reflect, to escape, to think, to contemplate and my time for space and calm.

Sally Ellsmore

I love reading because my cares & woes vanish for an hour or two whilst I read of the joys, adventures, lives of the characters in the book.

Jennifer Moville

I recommend Lovereading because you get honest reviews on a whole range of genres-there's something for everyone. It's the only site I need.

Sian Spinney

Lovereading is an amazing place to be, the website is wonderful and to me if I'm sad I'll go here and it cheers me up!

Sophia Upton

You'll always find what you never knew you were looking for and you're always spoilt for choice.

Helen Jones

Lovereading always comes up with great suggestions and has introduced me to enjoyable books and new authors to discover.

Gaynor Passmore

It has opened my eyes to different authors and genres. Just log on and try, you will be surprised and not want for reading material again.

Jocelyn Garvey

Lovereading recommends, honestly reviews and promotes books-what more can I say?!

Rachel Bridgeman