In This Review

Morocco Since 1830: A History
Morocco Since 1830: A History
By C. R. Pennell
New York University Press, 2001, 442 pp.

This book meets the need for an up-to-date history of modern Morocco in English. The major emphasis is on political history, but it also deftly works in economic and social subjects. Unlike most country studies that stint on the earlier years to concentrate on more recent history, this book gives equal treatment to all periods -- the years before France colonized Morocco in 1830, the protectorate years (1912-56), and restored independence thereafter. Pennell, who has written widely on Moroccan history, not only brings his own expertise to bear but draws on many works in Arabic, English, French, and Spanish. He brings out both the constants throughout time, such as the fickle weather that afflicts Moroccan agriculture, and the changes. Pennell neatly sums up those changes by imagining the reactions of two nineteenth-century visitors (a British diplomat and a Mauritanian scholar) returning to today's Morocco.