The Battle for Algeria: Sovereignty, Health Care, and Humanitarianism


Product Details

University of Pennsylvania Press
Publish Date
6.3 X 1.2 X 9.1 inches | 1.35 pounds

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About the Author

Jennifer Johnson teaches history at Brown University.


"Jennifer Johnson's excellent new book augments the internationalization of our understanding of the Algerian war by showing how important health and humanitarianism were to it. With archivally rooted contributions on how Algerian nationalists built a health program and how international humanitarian concern--including the Red Crescent--played an important role in arguments for sovereignty, The Battle for Algeria breaks new ground. Appeals to the need for health care and complaints over the violation of the human body were frequent, Johnson powerfully demonstrates, in the war for public opinion that ultimately shifted the conflict."--Samuel Moyn, Harvard University, author of Christian Human Rights

"The Battle for Algeria is a powerful critique of existing Algerian historiography that successfully integrates Middle East and North African studies into global or international history."--Benjamin Brower, University of Texas at Austin

"The Battle for Algeria demonstrates the ways in which sovereignty had been reconfigured in the postwar era--and how the techniques for achieving it were refashioned. In so doing, Jennifer Johnson reveals a very good deal about the international system as well as Algeria's particular struggle."--Roland Burke, La Trobe University

"Jennifer Johnson's The Battle for Algeria provides a painstakingly researched and richly descriptive analysis of the strategic importance of medicine, human rights, and humantarianism for Algerian nationalists' evolving and expanding political agencies, and the internationalization of their struggle during the war for independence."--Journal of Global South Studies

"With her careful scholarship Johnson focuses on how the Front de libe'ration nationale (FLN) sought international support for its campaign through the rhetoric--though limited practice--of healthcare for Algerians, as well as diplomatic missions to the newly independent nations of the Arab world, Asia, and, specifically, the United Nations . . . Johnson's narrative is absorbing. Her book draws on interviews and archives to enrich the complexity of the existing narrative and is a further contribution to understanding the war from the perspective of winning over world opinion."--French Studies

"[A] strong, insightful book packed with original and fascinating detail and fresh in its positioning both within the literature on Algeria and the literature on the history of human rights, health care, and humanitarianism. The book succeeds particularly well in bringing to the fore how care for the bodies of Algerians became a site of competition and a means of statebuilding during the war. Scholars from a variety of humanities and social science fields will find its lessons illuminating."--Journal of North African Studies