Latest Issue

France profonde

Why do the French need laws to dictate the right interpretations of the past? It is because of the confusion in French minds between history and memory

By Tim King   February 2006

French men and women, white, middle-aged, return in droves to Oran and Algiers as more than tourists but less than guests. They congregate on the street corners where once they played as children, gazing at the homes from which they were expelled in 1962. NostAlgéria, a growing phenomenon in France, has now become a political lobby: witness the recent legislation “expressing the nation’s gratitude for the work done and terrible sacrifices made by French colonists,” and making it obligatory that “school programmes acknowledge the positive role of the French presence overseas, particularly in north Africa.” If it seems odd that…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect