Challenging de Gaulle: O.A.S. and the Counter-Revolution in Algeria, 1954-62

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This unique volume tells the story of the Algerian counterrevolution from the viewpoint of the ordinary foot soldier in the O.A.S. (Organisation Armee Secrete). In a series of interviews with former O.A.S. participants, and using many unpublished documents and personal diaries, Harrison examines the motives of these defenders of French Algeria. Were they criminals, sociopaths, or honorable men more sensitive to their country's fate than were many of their contemporaries? Harrison poses this question in the book's introduction and then seeks the answer with an objective eye. Challenging De Gaulle tells the story of the Algerian counterrevolution from the viewpoint of the ordinary foot soldier in the O.A.S. (Organisation Armee Secrete). In a series of interviews with former O.A.S. participants, and using many unpublished documents and personal diaries, Alexander Harrison examines the motives of these defenders of French Algeria. Were they criminals, sociopaths, or honorable men more sensitive to their country's fate than were many of their contemporaries? Harrison poses this question in the book's introduction and then seeks the answer with an objective eye. Students and scholars of twentieth century history, as well as the general reader interested in this fascinating period, will find this volume superb reading. The book begins with a historical view of French colonization of Algeria, outlining the roots of the counter-revolution. Further chapters discuss the three abortive efforts to grant native Algerians their independence. The O.A.S. emerged in the wake of these defeats. Harrison also examines the evolution of counter-terrorism into a full-fledged coalition, under the O.A.S. label, to challenge DeGaulle. Finally, those who fought give personal accounts of the movement's defeat.