Lords of the Atlas: The Rise and Fall of the House of Glaoua, 1893-1956
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Lords of the Atlas: The Rise and Fall of the House of Glaoua, 1893-1956

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  52 ratings  ·  8 reviews
Set in the medieval city of Marrakesh and the majestic kasbahs of the High Atlas mountains, `Lords of the Atlas' tells the extraordinary story of the Madani and T'hami el Glaoui, warlord brothers who carved out a feudal fiefdom in southern Morocco in the early twentieth century. Quislings of the French colonial administration, they combined the aggression of gangland mobst...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published September 1st 2002 by Lyons Press (first published 1966)
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An account of the rise and fall--- blood on the way up, even more blood on the way down ---of a Moroccan clan amid the politics of the twentieth century, amid French colonialism, independence, war, and a dizzying cascade of alliances and betrayals. My edition is illustrated with breathtakingly beautiful photos of the country--- the cities, the Atlas mountains, the Rif ---and the landscape only emphasises the fates of the Glaoua and their allies and enemies. The old saying is true enough here: yo...more
I suppose if you need to read your first book on Morocco, this isn't a bad place to start. Let's preface that with...your first book on Southern Morocco, as the author's focus is strictly there. If you're like me, a wanderer uninitiated on the North African nation as a whole, this volume will illuminate the difference between the Morocco we think we know (Casablanca) with the Morocco we don't (Marrakesh).

While this is really the history of the House of Glaoua, lords of the Berber lands to the so...more
Andrew Bourne
Mar 27, 2008 Andrew Bourne rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Moroccophiles
Recommended to Andrew by: Jason LaFerrera
Maxwell has an ear and an eyeball rolled in every kasbah's blanket, every Pasha's golfing bag, every harem's keyhole, every red Martian craig of the High Atlas, every Sultan's treasury, and gilded box, and long handshake, and column of tea poured too far above its little glass. He has a good guess at what every passing feudalist thinks about his neighboring fief. He saw France rinse white vampire hands as Morocco passed its medieval placenta into the 20th century, oozing with old blood stuck to...more
I wish I had read this before we visited the kasbah at Telouet, but it's almost equally good after having been there. I was less interested in the politics of Morocco (which were complicated and unpleasant) and more interested in what it was like to live day by day under the rule of the Glaoua family (equally complicated and unpleasant, but what did they eat, who did they entertain, etc.).
Martha Fedorowicz
For anyone studying the history of Morocco this book is an absolute must-read! Maxwell tells the story of the Lords of the Atlas--the Glaoui family who ruled over much of southern Morocco until its independence in 1956. But this is not only the story of one family, it is also the story of a nation's struggles for independence and more importantly, its quest to define itself.
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Claire Webster
A complex account of dynastic intrigue in what it is hard to believe was the 20th Century. Highly evocative and romantic.

Jan 06, 2013 Mara added it
Very interesting, but hard going. Keeping track of who is who taking a bunch of concentration.
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