Diana Wylie, Professor of History, Boston University This elegantly written memoir comes from the pen of a man who joined the Algerian war of national independence as a lad of nineteen. The reader is treated to the engrossing details of a young man's life on the run, proudly serving a humble leader. Because the author grew into a man with wide experience of the modern world, he is able to tell his story wisely: this book is a fine antidote to the nationalistic bombast that rings so false today.
Milan Kovacovic, Associate Professor of French Studies, University of Minnesota Duluth ... [Hamou Amirouche's] book is a hugely important and compelling work of both sociopolitical analysis and literature—the writing being in turns poignant, lyrical, and humorous, with the unmistakable ring of direct experience and authenticity. .. ... Memoirs of a Mujahed is destined to be a classic, completing the film “The Battle of Algiers” for whoever wants a deeper understanding of the human condition at an individual level, and sociopolitical forces at a collective level, especially as they pertain to the Middle East and the Maghreb, regions so central to world affairs now and in the foreseeable future.
Lucette Valensi, Historian: EHESS (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales) The sharpness of the author's recollections as a freedom fighter and memories of dramatic war events going back half a century are impressive. Hamou Amirouche's exceptional literary talent is striking as he evokes a place visited in the dark, a landscape, or a character using the appropriate words, images, and tone. The powerful and riveting figure of the author's father, as well as that of his oldest brother are compelling. The reader is particularly stirred by the gripping narrative of his childhood and adolescence.
Lahouari Addi, Sociology Professor, Institute of Political Science, Lyon; Visiting Professor Princeton, UCLA and Georgetown University. For Hamou Amirouche, a veteran of the Algerian National Liberation Army, everything began with an event he witnessed as a child that changed his life forever: The arrest and savage beating of his nationalist father... He begins by recalling his childhood in a style reminiscent of the unforgettable writings of Mouloud Feraoun... One of Hamou's motivations for writing his memoirs is to convincingly dismiss allegations that Colonel Amirouche, his chief, suspected "intellectuals,"first and foremost of being turncoats in the "Blue Plot..." Hamou Amirouche should be thanked for this lesson in humility, humanism, and also for showing the true face of a national hero, the great Amirouche, even though, as he sternly reminded Hamou, "only God is great."
Phillip C. Naylor, Ph.D., Marquette University, Co-editor, Journal of North African Studies Hamou Amirouche’s appeal for the development of a historical consciousness and an honest appraisal of Algeria’s history resonates throughout his extraordinary autobiography. Highlighted by his campaigning during the Algerian Revolution as a mujāhid while serving as secretary to the controversial Col. Amirouche (Aït Hamouda; no relation to the author), this book is much more than a war memoir. The author recounts pre-revolutionary social and political conditions while growing up in Berber Kabylia. As an American-educated member of Algeria’s technocratic elite, he also offers candid and critical reflections of post-colonial and contemporary Algeria. This is an engaging and an all too rare memoir composed by a thoughtful and perceptive representative of Algeria’s revolutionary generation. Its insights will inform and impress students and scholars.