In the Desert - The Hiterland of Algiers (Paperback)
The French takeover of Algeria represented a triumph of order over anarchy, of reason over emotion. This is the
controversial view put forward by the author of In the Desert: The Hinterland of Algiers, based on observations made during his travels through North Africa at the turn of the century. The Arab tribes, claims L. March Phillipps, lack the social coherence and the intellectual depth of the European, and the concept of form is alien to their nature. He supports this contention with a thought-provoking analysis of Arab poetry and architecture, and a discussion of the influence of Islam on Arab civilization, and suggests that the Oriental temperament has been moulded
primarily by the unique environment of the Sahara: 'For generations they have pitched their tents on these wastes of fickle, burning, restless sand, and breathed this stimulating, fiery air, until the characteristics of the desert have so entered into them that in describing one you describe the other."
Reprinted here in facsimile of the 1909 edition, the book is complete with the original photographs and maps.