By Robert A. Levine
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In the fifteen years since the first edition of the bibliography appeared, the number of books and articles on Algeria has increased dramatically, though English-language publications remain a mere fraction of the literature available in French. This period has brought profound changes to Algeria: the introduction of economic reforms leading to a free market economy; the end of single-party rule; political pluralism; the dramatic resurgence of political Islam in the form of the Front islamique du salut; and the country's tragic descent into virtual civil war following the military coup d'état in January 1992.
A high rate of investment, one of the highest in the Third World, was needed to implement these ambitious economic policies and to finance the rapid expansion of the educational system to produce skilled workers and managers for the new factories. Revenues from oil and gas, now the country's major source of foreign exchange, were inadequate, and the government was forced to borrow heavily from European and American banks by mortgaging future oil and gas exports. As Algeria's oil reserves are much smaller than those of other major Page xxx Middle Eastern producers, priority was given to exploiting the country's huge reserves of natural gas in order to finance future economic development.
So complete was the process of Islamization that Christianity disappeared completely and few traces of Judaism survived. However, the Berbers were slow to adopt the Arabic language. The first Arabs to settle in the region were few in number, and as soldiers, administrators and traders they were mainly urban dwellers. The invasion from Egypt in the 11th century by tribes of Arab nomads, the Beni Hillal and Beni Solaym, quickened the pace of Arabization in rural areas, but the process was by no means complete.
Assimilating Immigrants: Why America Can and France Cannot by Robert A. Levine