Books: Epic Terror

A SAVAGE WAR OF PEACE by Alistair Horne Viking; 604 pages; $19.95

All Saints' Day, a Christian feast that commemorates the spiritual heroism of the early martyrs, has a double significance to the French. With a canny sense of symbolism, Algeria's fledgling Front de Libération Nationale (F.L.N.) chose Nov. 1, 1954, as the day to launch its rebellion. In the wintry mountains of the Aurès, Muslim djounoud (soldiers of the faith) attacked a police station at Biskra, wounding two gendarmes. At Khenchela, a lieutenant, Gérard Darneau, was mortally wounded by machine-gun fire—the first French...

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