Mecca of Revolution: Algeria, Decolonization, and the Third World Order

ISBN : 9780190053772

Jeffrey James Byrne
408 Pages
156 x 156 mm
Pub date
Nov 2019
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Winner of Finalist, Melville J. Herskovits Prize of the African Studies Association

Honorable Mention, L. Carl Brown AIMS Book Prize of the American Institute for Maghrib Studies

Winner of the Jerry Bentley Prize of the American Historical Association.

Mecca of Revolution traces the ideological and methodological evolution of the Algerian Revolution, showing how an anticolonial nationalist struggle culminated in independent Algeria's ambitious agenda to reshape not only its own society, but international society too. In this work, Jeffrey James Byrne first examines the changing politics and international strategies of the Algerian National Liberation Front (FLN) during its war with France, including the embrace of more encompassing visions of "decolonization" that necessitated socio-economic transformation on a global scale along Marxist/Leninist/Fanonist/Maoist/Guevarian lines. After independence, the Algerians played a leading role in Arab-African affairs as well as the far-reaching Third World project that challenged structural inequalities in the international system and the world economy, including initiatives such as the Non-Aligned Movement, the G77, and the Afro-Asian movement. At the same time, Algiers, nicknamed the "Mecca of Revolution," became a key nexus in an intercontinental transnational network of liberation movements, revolutionaries, and radical groups of various kinds. Drawing on unprecedented access to archival materials from the FLN, the independent Algerian state, and half a dozen other countries, Byrne narrates a postcolonial, or "South-South," international history. He situates dominant paradigms such as the Cold War in the larger context of decolonization and sheds new light on the relationships between the emergent elites of Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America. Mecca of Revolution shows how Third Worldism evolved from a subversive transnational phenomenon into a mode of elite cooperation that reinforced the authority of the post-colonial state. In so doing, the Third World movement played a key role in the construction of the totalizing international order of the late-twentieth century.


Ch. 1 Method Men: The Praxis of Anti-Colonial Resistance
Ch. 2 Our Friends Today: Algeria Joins the Third World
Ch. 3 Real Existing Third Worldism: National Development in the Age of Ideologies
Ch. 4 The Allure of Globalism: Algeria amid Continents, Colors, and the Cold War
Ch. 5 Mecca of Impatience and Anxiety: Globalizations and the Third World Order

About the author: 

Jeffrey James Byrne is Assistant Professor of History at the University of British Columbia.

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