Thursday 9 November 2023

Audible - "A Savage War of Peace" Alistair Horne

Ever since reading, or should I say literally burned the print from the page with my mark one eyeball from Alistair Horne's "To lose a Battle: France 1940" - I knew I had to go on and complete his four part French Trilogy (akin to Douglas Adams five part Hitch-Hikers Guide to teh Trilogy). It was a bucket list "thing" for me to do. I devoured "The Price of Glory: Verdun 1916" but then came to an abrupt halt. Despite buying both the Franco Prussian prequel ("The Fall of Paris: The Siege and teh Commune 1870-71") and the de Gaulle sequel ("A Savage Wat of Peace: Algeria 1954 - 64"), the books never leapt into my hands. They have remained a "pile of pages" for decades, shameful look down. To jumpstart the much delayed process I saw Audible had "A Savage War of Peace" so downloaded it and jumped in feet first (see below, I had been warned from others that it was not a "happy book" and they were absolutely right, it made the Northern Ireland troubles look kindergarten by comparison):  

When I finally finished it, there was a sense of relief, "that's over". The only way I can try to describe it is as, "watching a good sports team play their professional game in a haphazard unprofessional amateur fashion. What they did well, was done in teh wrong places for the wrong reasons. The star goal scorer  (de Gaulle) was living off his past victories and prestige. I feel as if I now know how little I really know about France, having had but a small glimpse of their suffering and self inflicted post-Colonial malaise (of both indignation and sense of collective guilt). I now need a way to get into the Franco Prussian chapter - I seem to have read them all in the wrong sort of order.

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