GoldGato's Reviews > Lords of the Atlas: The Rise and Fall of the House of Glaoua, 1893-1956

Lords of the Atlas by Gavin Maxwell
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's review
Mar 11, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: history, non-fiction, summer, africa
Read from April 08 to June 06, 2012

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 south of the Atlas mountains, the reader gets the full breadth of the cruelty and avarice of the ruling Sultans also. One wonders if there are still skeletons rotting away in the depths of some unknown hidden dungeon in the crumbling mud-made abandoned kasbahs.

The French come in for it big time. They just never seemed to manage the whole colonial bit (the Pommies really had that nailed down). As a prelude to the Algerian War, the French occupation and then abandonment of Morocco plays as a Graham Greene story of betrayal and condescension.

Books teach and this one certainly did. Shadows and dust.

Book Season = Summer (when the hot winds blow)

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04/15/2012 page 28
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Bettie☯ You summed it up exactly. Cruelty everywhere in this history of a ruling House and one can't complain because it is fact. If it had been a fictional story I would have dented the wall with it.

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