Andrew Hussey

Stranger in His Own Land

Algerian Chronicles

By

Belknap Press/Harvard University Press 224pp £16.95 order from our bookshop

For a long time, the accepted wisdom on Albert Camus’s response to the Algerian War of Independence (1954–62) has been that he was a coward. This was the view first promulgated by his former friend and rival Jean-Paul Sartre, who accused Camus of having the ‘morality of a boy scout’ for refusing to praise the terrorist actions of the Algerian nationalists, the Front de Libération Nationale (FLN). In his acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize in 1957, Camus famously stated: ‘People are now planting bombs on the tramway of Algiers. My mother might be on one of those tramways. If that is justice, then I prefer my mother.’

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