To the Editors:
I regret the omission of Yves Courrière’s important book La Guerre d’Algérie on the French–Algerian war in my discussion of the historical literature on the subject [“The Torture of Algiers,” NYR, November 21, 2002]. Courrière’s books were a significant source of material for Horne’s A Savage War of Peace, as Horne himself acknowledges in his foreword to that book. Horne conducted important research of his own in Algeria and his book remains perhaps the finest survey of the period, even if it has been partly eclipsed by subsequent scholarship. Also, I stand by my argument that, until rather recently, French writing on the subject has been highly colored by the charged politics of the era. Courrière’s fine book was the exception to the rule.
May 1, 2003