The personal history of journalist Henri Alleg is tied inextricably to the history of the French-Algerian conflict. Best known for his book "The Question", a firsthand account of his torture by French troops during the Algerian war for independence, Alleg is famous both for having brought the issue of French torture to the public eye and for his passionate work as a writer, newspaperman, and communist activist. Beginning with his arrival in Algiers in 1939, when he fell immediately in love with the vibrant city, to his departure in 1965, after Boumedienne seized power, this is a critical work of history made devastatingly personal. "Algerian Memoirs" recounts Alleg's experience under the Vichy regime and such watershed moments in colonial history as the infamous Battle of Algiers. In these pages, he relives the violence and the summary executions, the communist struggle, and his party's strained relations with the National Liberation Front. And, of course, he revisits in stark detail his arrest and torture by the French, his years in prison, and eventual escape to Czechoslovakia.
In the telling of his own story, Alleg explores some of the key events in the history of Europe and North Africa and in the history of the radical press. This is an irreplaceable document of colonialism and its tragic aftermath.
Henri Alleg is a French-Algerian journalist and director of the Alger republicain newspaper. He is also the author of several books, including The Question and Red Star and Green Crescent. Gila Walker is the translator of more than a hundred works in French, including texts by Jacques Derrida, Francois Jullien, and Tzvetan Todorov. She divides her time between her homes in New York and the southwest of France.