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Paul Auchterlonie. Encountering Islam: an English Slave in 17th Century Algiers and Mecca : a critical edition, with biographical introduction and notes of Joseph Pitts of Exeter’s “A Faithful Account of the Religion and Manners of the Mahometans”, 1731. (London: Arabian Publishing, 2012). £48.

“An excellent publication” Peter Clark – The Middle East in London

“An excellent book in both its scholarship and editorial apparatus” Nabil Matar – Journal of Islamic Studies

“As a travel narrative, Pitts’s account stands apart, not only for its description of the hajj and the holy sites of Mecca and Medina, but also for his observations of life and culture in early modern Algiers” Ann Wolfgram Brodeur – Journal of Early Modern History





This debut novel by Nita Nicholson, set in the 1970s, shines a light on the early years of the Qaddafi regime as it established its control by means of terror – imprisonment, executions and disappearances. In the novel, the author explores the psychological territory of fear, basing her observations on years of living and teaching in Libya, visiting her husband who was a political prisoner in Benghazi and in Tripoli.


   

   

   


Nina Salouâ Studer. The Hidden Patients : North African Women in French Colonial Psychiatry. (Böhlau-Verlag GmbH, Cologne, 2015). Volume 8 of Zürcher Beiträge zur Geschichtswissenschaft. £41.50.


Yehudit Ronen. Qaddafi’s Libya in World Politics (Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2008). £55.

“Ronen’s book is a veritable tour de force and a must-read for all who seek to understand Libya’s position in world politics.” – Hussein Solomon, African Security Review

“A highly precious reference material for students of international relations in general and researchers on Libyan foreign policy in particular.” – Jagdish N. Singh, Power Politics

Libya’s enigmatic Muammar Qaddafi demonstrated a perhaps unprecedented capacity for reinvention and survival, particularly in the realm of foreign policy. Yehudit Ronen traces Libya’s sometimes tortuous trajectory in international affairs across the four decades of Qaddafi’s leadership.
   Ronen addresses a range of critical issues: oil politics, foreign military adventurism, WMDs, international terrorism, the confrontation between Islam and the West, and the constraints of US policy in the Middle East. She also sheds abundant light on the many ways that domestic politics under Qaddafi affected Libya’s international role. From internal leadership rivalries to international strategic quandaries, she navigates the major course corrections that reoriented the country's focus from the Arab Middle East and the Soviet Union to the African continent and the West.

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Amira K. Bennison. The Almoravid and Almohad Empires (The Edinburgh History of the Islamic Empires) (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, August 2016). 392 pages, notes, bibliography, index. Paperback: £29.99; Hardback (preorder £90.00).

“Given the importance of the subject, it is astonishing that this is the first full length study in English of these two empires. Bennison’s thoughtful and well researched book marks a major advance in our understanding of this important period in the history of the Maghreb and the Iberian peninsula. It will be widely appreciated by scholars and students alike” – Hugh Kennedy, SOAS University of London


J.N.C. Hill. Democratisation in the Maghreb (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, August 2016). 232 pages. Hardback: £70.00.

“J.N.C. Hill has produced a convincing account of politics in the Maghreb which is theoretically sophisticated and filled with empirical insight. It is particularly valuable for its inclusion of the case of Mauritania alongside those of Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco, and deserves a wide readership among scholars and students alike. ” – Vincent Durac, School of Politics and International Relations, University College Dublin


Alice Wilson. Sovereignty in Exile: A Saharan Liberation Movement Governs (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, October 2016). 312 pages. Hardback: £39.00.

Sovereignty in Exile explores sovereignty and state power through the case of the Polisario Front liberation movement and the Sahrawi refugee camps in Algeria. Drawing on unprecedented ethnographic research gained by living with Sahrawi refugee families, Alice Wilson examines the creation of administrative categories, legal reforms, aid distribution, marriage practices, local markets, and contested elections within the camps. Sovereignty in Exile traces how tribal social relations are undermined, recycled, and have reemerged as the refugee community negotiates governance, resolves disputes, manages social inequalities, and improvises alternatives to taxation.

“This deeply researched ethnography takes the case of Western Sahara and the fusing of a liberation movement (Polisario) and a partially recognized Sahrawi state to make a major contribution to the anthropology of the state. Looking particularly at transformations in the social relations of sovereignty, Wilson offers a fascinating account of control, compromises, and the sometimes uneasy coexistence of revolutionary politics and tribal affinities. ” – Ilana Feldman, George Washington University


Abderrahman Beggar. Histoire et mémoire bouraouïennes I (Toronto: York University, The Canada-Mediterranean Centre, ‘Moisaic. Essays’ series, 2016). 155 pages. Paperback.

“Cet ouvrage de A. Beggar est bien étoffé, riche d’enseignements et son écriture vivante, agréable à suivre. Bien plus, comme il traite à la fois de poésie, de littérature, d’histoire, d’art, de philosophie et même de politique, le regard que son auteur porte sur la pensée critique de Hédi Bouraoui, sa force créatrice, et son analyse de « l'ignorance... comme distorsion des structures », peut fort bien s’inscrire dans la tradition de la critique théorique. A cet égard, la démarche est louable à plus d’un titre car non seulement elle témoigne d’une vision éminemment humaniste – puisque l’intolérance se nourrit de I’ignorance – mais elle a également le mérite de faire appel à des comparaisons, des parallèles et des rapprochements, voire des convergences avec d’autres écrivains. Nous recommandons chaudement la lecture de ce livre. ” – Rafik Darragi (Université de Tunis)


Pierre Bonte. Récits d’origine : Contributions à la connaissance du passé ouest-saharien (Paris : Éditions Karthala, 2016). 816 pages. Paperback.

En s’inspirant de l'analyse structurale des mythes, Pierre Bonte propose une méthode de traitement des « récits d’origine » ouest-sahariens dont le statut est resté imprécis dans le champ de la littérature orale (légendes, mythes, épopées, saga). Ces récits d’origine ont trait aux fondations, celles des tribus dans des sociétés organisées sur un mode tribal, celles des villes anciennes, mais ils se rapportent également aux grands mouvements religieux et à l’introduction des « confréries » dans l’ouest du Sahara (Mauritanie, Maroc, Sahara occidental, Algérie et Mali).

   Pierre Bonte s’interroge sur le « régime d’historicité » de ces récits, dont certains participent à la légitimation de l’islamisation et, plus encore, de l’arabisation des populations locales d’origine berbère. Parfois écrits et transmis localement, parfois rassemblés par des chercheurs s’intéressant a la littérature orale – il en a lui-même recueilli un grand nombre au cours de ses missions –, ces textes, publiés en annexe de l’ouvrage, constituent un corpus inédit. La contribution de Pierre Bonte à la connaissance du passé ouest-saharien vient aussi éclairer les mutations profondes que connaissent ces sociétés depuis quelques décennies.

   La riche collecte à laquelle il a procédé concerne notamment l’examen des topoï mytho-historiques suivants : al-Imâm al-Hadramî et les Almoravides (XIe s.), les bafûr, la guerre de Sharr Bubba (XVIIe s.) et le Sharîf Bûbazzûl.


All the above titles are available from The Maghreb Bookshop