Natalya Vince’s award-winning study of Algerian women war veterans is an important reflection on gender and memory in the history of modern Algeria. Recognizing the centrality of the Algeria War of Independence (1954–62) on modern state building, national identity formation, and historical study, Vince seeks both to situate the experiences of the war years as continuities, not ruptures, and to go beyond violent conflict in the narration of postcolonial Algeria. Toward these ends Vince offers an analysis of “vernacular memory” to explicate the terrain between individual and collective memory (9). Vince juxtaposes nationalist celebrations and commemorations of women freedom fighters, who are neither completely forgotten nor fully remembered, within the “glorified national history” sanctifying the anticolonial struggle with women’s variegated trajectories to counter the presumption that women’s rights have gone precipitously downhill since 1962 (3).

At the heart...

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