Volume 9, Issue 3, March 2019

A Word from the Editor

This issue’s theme is French colonialism and decolonization. Ethan Katz reviews Gillo Pontercorvo’s 1966 masterpiece The Battle of Algiers. He explains how it can be used in class from multiple perspectives, including that of the Holocaust. Don Reid looks at a neglected aspect of the Battle, the voice of women. Based on her memoirs, he shows how Zohra Drif, one of the iconic female bombers in the film, envisioned her participation, why her perspective differed from Germaine Tillion’s, and how her relations with Yacef Saâdi (the film’s impressario) soured. Their rivalry takes us all the way to the present. Lastly, Mike Vann explains why he took to the “comic history” format to tell story of the Great Hanoi Rat Hunt. The book offers visual guidance to the modernization of the city by the French, including a new sewer system that failed to stem plague outbreaks, and exacerbated the racism of the colonizers.

Liana Vardi

University at Buffalo, SUNY


Table of Contents


Multi-directional History in The Battle of Algiers, by Ethan B. Katz
Re-viewing The Battle of Algiers with Zohra Drif, by Donald Reid
Confessions of a Rogue Historian: Why I Wrote a Graphic History of Colonial Hanoi, by Michael G. Vann

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