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  1. Introduction
  3. Libya is the fourth-largest nation in Africa in area, but the least populated. Population is concentrated along the narrow coastline while most of the rest of the country is desert. The modern state of Libya is a recent creation forged from the colonial union of three geographically distinct Ottoman provinces: Tripolitania, Cyrenaica, and Fezzan. Although the term “Libya” dates back to classical antiquity, Italians used the name to legitimize a colonial conquest that began as a trumped-up war in 1911 but did not end until the last resistance was brutally crushed in 1932. This article traces the political transitions and controversies surrounding the origins of the modern Libyan nation, from the Ottoman conquest in 1551 to the Libyan revolution of 2011. Due to the lack of sustained scholarly work on the early Ottoman period, most of the article will treat events from the 18th century forward, when the three provinces formed a loose federation of Ottoman governorates. Geography determined the social, political, and economic institutions that developed in each province. Tripolitania had a large urban capital that was an entrepôt for Mediterranean shipping, corsairing, and trans-Saharan caravan trade from the southern province of Fezzan. The eastern province, Cyrenaica, was the seat of the Sanusiyya movement that, with its networks of desert lodges, resisted colonial conquest until Italian forces routed the rebels, deporting populations and placing others in concentration camps. Italy lost its colony when the European powers of Great Britain, France, and the United States defeated the Axis powers in a desert campaign waged on Libyan soil. When the victorious powers failed to agree on a workable political solution to their competing claims over Libya, the United Nations stepped in and proclaimed a federated kingdom with King Idris, who had ties to the Sanusis, at its helm. The discovery of oil in 1959 transformed Libya from a nation with a 90 percent illiteracy rate and a $35 per capita income into one of Africa’s largest petroleum exporters. Libya’s monarchical experiment lasted until 1969 when a group of twelve officers led by a young Colonel Muammar Qadhafi conducted a bloodless coup, followed by a revolution based on Arab nationalism, socialism, and anticolonialism. This article covers the political, economic, and social experiments that ensued during Qadhafi’s forty-two-year tenure to forge the Jamahiriyya, or state of the masses, culminating in the revolution of 2011. To complement information on nation-state politics, the article also covers arts, culture of Libya, information on minorities, gender, Islam, and oil.
  5. Historical Overviews
  7. The readings in this section are divided into two groups: works with a broad, regionally geographical focus and those with a narrower country or national focus, emphasizing the unfolding internal development. The states of the Maghreb are modern creations, but are they the sole result of imperial domination and the experience of colonialism (including both adaptation to European tutelage and resistance to it) or precolonial attempts at reform, based on the changing power dynamics in the Mediterranean region? Abun-Nasr 1987 offers a comparative and narrative history of North Africa as a whole from the Muslim conquest, but its main focus is on ruling elites and politics at the state level, leaving out social history. Regional history has been carved up into precolonial, colonial, and nationalist eras indicating implicit adherence to Eurocentric models of change. Morsy 1984, however, stresses indigenous processes and includes both Egypt and the Sudan in a comparative approach to the history of North Africa as a geopolitical unit. Morsy alters analytical frames between the nation-state imposed by colonialism and religiously based trading networks crisscrossing the region’s seas and deserts. In Martel 1991, the author’s essay answers the question regarding the origin of nationalism by focusing on the second Ottoman occupation and its impact on Libyan national identity. Anderson 1986 combines both a geographic and a temporal approach in its longue durée comparison of the regencies that would become Tunisia and Libya, claiming the impact of colonialism was decisive on the kind of nationalist state that emerged. By contrast, Ahmida 2011 traces the development of a centralized state and finds its origins in precolonial economic structures heavily influenced by climate, social practice, and geography. Both St. John 2008 and Wright 1982 are introductory narrative texts suitable for undergraduates, but of the two, St. John covers the colonial period and subsequent political transitions with more analytical thoroughness. Vandewalle 2006 focuses on the institutions and ideology of the modern Libyan state in the Qadhafi era.
  9. Abun-Nasr, Jamil. A History of the Maghrib in the Islamic Period. 3d ed. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1987.
  10. DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511608100Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »
  11. Classic narrative work in English contextualizing and comparing the history of North Africa, defined as Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya.
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  13. Ahmida, Ali Abdullatif. The Making of Modern Libya: State Formation, Colonization, and Resistance. 2d ed. SUNY Series in the Social and Economic History of the Middle East. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2011.
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  15. Analyzes economic structures, tribal social forms, and state formation prior to Italian occupation. Using Marxist framework, traces the influence of geography on socioeconomic formation, emphasizing the importance of local factors responsible for transformation to the nation. Resistance to colonialism and collaboration with Italians worked in tandem. Ideology of religiously based resistance conditioned by local factors such as kinship, tribe, trade, and livelihood.
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  17. Anderson, Lisa. The State and Social Transformation in Tunisia and Libya, 1830–1980. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1986.
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  19. Longue durée study of consequences on social structures of Libya and Tunisia, with an emphasis on state formation, state-led reform programs, and centralization on nationalism. Advances thesis that Italians destroyed indigenous administration without putting anything in its place, resulting in renewed valorization of kinship ties/tribal structures as a mode of political organization.
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  21. Martel, André. La Libye, 1835–1990: Essai de géopolitique historique. Perspectives Internationales. Paris: PUF, 1991.
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  23. Posits that prior to nationalism, identity was anchored in Ottomanism and Islam. Ottoman imperial subjects in the territory did not become “Libyans” by resisting or reacting to the Italian occupation, but because between 1918 and 1924 once the caliphate fell, they had few remaining “points of reference” for anchoring political identity (i.e., there was no sultan or caliph, or Ottoman army, and the administration of holy sites was taken over by Western powers).
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  25. Morsy, Magali. North Africa, 1800–1900: A Survey from the Nile Valley to the Atlantic. London: Longman, 1984.
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  27. Political and social history of the region, bold in its inclusion of Sudan and Egypt in North Africa. Offers thirteen clearly printed historical maps and thirty-three dynastic charts, chronologies, and tables of data. For an example of trans-Saharan trade routes, see page 54.
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  29. St. John, Ronald Bruce. Libya: From Colony to Independence. Oxford: Oneworld, 2008.
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  31. Introductory narrative text of Libyan history covering major events, suitable for undergraduates.
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  33. Vandewalle, Dirk. A History of Modern Libya. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2006.
  34. DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511986246Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »
  35. Focused mostly on the Qadhafi era and its pursuit of a “stateless society,” which the author calls a deliberate and strategic failure to create structures of a modern state.
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  37. Wright, John L. Libya: A Modern History. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1982.
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  39. Introductory text written by a BBC journalist, chronicling the history of Libya’s political transformations from Ottoman to Italian colony, to independence. Seven of the twelve chapters are devoted to Libya under Qadhafi. Plays down claims of genocide in Cyrenaica.
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  41. Reference Works and Bibliographies
  43. Reference books and bibliographies cover the major aspects of Libyan history, from the 19th century to World War II to the Qadhafi era. Drysdale and Blake 1985 is a general area survey (useful for reference), containing graphs and tables, and information on major industries. The work compares Libya and Sudan as cases of national integration. For historical perspective, Broc 1988 contains information on 19th-century exploratory missions in Africa, including maps of the trans-Saharan trade through Libya. Because the largest component of Saharan trade was in slaves, Hogg 1973 provides a resource for the African interior. For a broader perspective on the African slave trade and especially its trans-Saharan aspect, Miller 1993 is a comprehensive bibliographical source including review essays, unpublished papers and conference reports, scholarly articles in periodicals, and portions of a multiauthored edited collection. Much of the campaign in World War II was fought in North Africa and specifically in the Libyan desert, and Baxter 1996 is an excellent bibliographical survey of the period. For Libya-specific information, Harmon 1982 lists sources in the popular press. The most up-to-date online resource for understanding Libya’s political permutations is the website, which lists successive historical regimes and their national symbols.
  45. Baxter, Colin F., ed. The War in North Africa, 1940–1943: A Selected Bibliography. Bibliographies of Battles and Leaders 16. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1996.
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  47. Provides hundreds of titles related to World War II and the North African campaign, especially in the Libyan desert. Seventy-five pages of bibliographic essays on aspects of the war and stages of its development.
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  49. Broc, Numa, ed. Dictionnaire illustré des explorateurs et grands voyageurs français du XIXe siècle. Vol. 1, Afrique. Paris: Éditions du Comité des Travaux Historiques et Scientifiques, 1988.
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  51. Biographical encyclopedia of exploratory missions through Africa, using Libya as a point of entry or passage. Filled with contemporary photographs and maps. Entries include graphical references and suggestions for further reading. Maps include both physical and political geography, especially of North Africa, the Nile basin, and Saharan trade routes. Complements literature listed in Travelers’ Accounts.
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  53. Drysdale, Alasdair, and Gerald H. Blake. The Middle East and North Africa: A Political Geography. New York: Oxford University Press, 1985.
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  55. Sections on North Africa contain location of oil fields, facilities, pipelines, and export routes. Demographic information includes population density, language areas, location of major infrastructure, and variations in border settlement between Libya and neighbors (Algeria and Chad). Detailed index and comprehensive bibliography.
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  57. Harmon, Robert B., ed. Administration and Government in Libya: A Selected Bibliography. Public Administration Series: Bibliography 940. Monticello, IL: Vance Bibliographies, 1982.
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  59. Source for local journalistic popular news sources. Time span 1960 to 1980.
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  61. Hogg, Peter C., ed. The African Slave Trade and Its Suppression: A Classified and Annotated Bibliography of Books, Pamphlets and Periodical Articles. Cass Library of African Studies: General Studies 137. London: Frank Cass, 1973.
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  63. Contains articles pertinent to Libya, Chad, and other areas of the African interior as well as specific enslaved peoples. Geographical name index useful in locating materials; author index and anonymous title index are also provided. See also Fezzan, Gateway to Greater Africa.
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  65. Libya.
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  67. Comprehensive presentation of Libyan political transformations of the modern period in easy chronology, with successive national symbols and paraphernalia. Includes Libyan revolution of 2011.
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  69. Miller, Joseph C. Slavery and Slaving in World History: A Bibliography, 1900–1991. Millwood, NY: Kraus International, 1993.
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  71. Substantial reference, clearly organized; covers materials on Africa, Muslim areas, and the trans-Saharan slave trade. Key word index not always precise. This publication can also be found online. See also Fezzan, Gateway to Greater Africa.
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  73. Primary Sources
  75. The primary sources listed here are intended to give an overview of the historical context and geographical loci of Libya’s modern history from multiple perspectives, both domestic and foreign. Ghalbun 2004 is a compilation of the 18th-century text narrating the history of Tripolitania under the Qaramanli dynasty of governors. For a documentary history of the Fezzan desert region in precolonial Libya, al-Hiznawi 1994 is an invaluable resource, often cited to support the existence of indigenous governance structures connected to the center in Tripoli and the Ottoman administration. Hopkins 1982 contains a compilation of consular correspondence that provides insight into European, mainly British, interests and the responses of local consular representatives in translation. For Cyrenaica, Vikør 1992 includes an inventory of the major correspondence collections of the Sanusi order. Bono 1992 provides a critical collection of nonstate primary sources for the Italo-Turkish War—the letters of Italian soldiers on the front. Intended as a tribute to Bashir al-Sa‘dawi, one of the first statesmen to link Tripolitania administratively to Cyrenaica, Shukri 1957 is a documentary collection highlighting the role played by exiles in the nationalist movement. Its exclusive focus on one intellectual marginalizes the contributions of others. Qadhafi 1969–1994 contains the major speeches of the Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi (also commonly spelled Qaddafi, al-Qadhdhafi, al-Gaddafi, Gaddafi). The website Libya Our Home contains a rich collection of primary source material in Arabic on a wide variety of topics, including history, society, and the arts.
  77. Bono, Salvatore, ed. Morire per questi deserti: Lettere di soldati italiani dal fronte libico 1911–1912. Saggi 8. Catanzaro, Italy: Abramo, 1992.
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  79. Collection of soldiers’ letters from the Libyan front. (Relates to journalist accounts and debates on the legacy of Italian colonization; discussed in Baldinetti 2003, cited under Historiographical Controversies).
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  81. Ghalbun, Muhammad Khalil. Al-Tidhkār fī-man malaka Ṭarābulus wa-mā kāna bihā min al-akhyār. 2d ed. Edited by Tahir Ahmad al-Zawi. Beirut, Lebanon: Dār al-Madār al-Islāmi, 2004.
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  83. Primary source on the history and courtly intrigues of the Qaramanli dynasty from an 18th-century local historian. (Title translation: A Reminder of Tripoli’s Rulers and Her History.) Originally published in 1967.
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  85. al-Hiznawi, Habib Wadaa, ed. Wathā’iq Dawla Awlād Muḥammad. Vol. 1. Tripoli: Center for Libyan Studies, 1994.
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  87. Compiled and edited by al-Hiznawi (also commonly spelled Heznawi), this work documents the administrative practices of the Awlad Muhammad tribal confederation that ruled the Fezzan. The tribe was responsible for providing traders safe passage through the Sahara; Ottoman officials granted the confederation semiautonomy.
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  89. Hopkins, John F. P., trans. Letters from Barbary, 1576–1774: Arabic Documents in the Public Record Office. Oriental Documents 6. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1982.
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  91. Collection of documents annotated and translated into English, originating from diplomatic missions to the Barbary states from the latter half of the 16th century to almost the end of the 18th century. Each document includes introduction, glossary, footnotes, and a bibliography. For a history of the Qaramanli dynasty of the same period, see Ghalbun 2004.
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  93. Libya: Our Home.
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  95. Comprehensive site listing excerpts of primary sources, mostly in Arabic, covering Libyan history from ancient to modern times. Also includes primary source material on Libyan society, arts, literature, music, civil society associations, local press, blogs, and links to other archival collections.
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  97. Qadhafi, Muammar. As-Sijil al-qawmi bayanat wa-ahadith al-aqid Mu‘ammar al-Qadhafi. Vols. 1–25. Tripoli: Marakiz ath-Thaqafiya al-Qawmiya, 1969–1994.
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  99. Transcripts of Muammar Qadhafi’s speeches, arranged by year.
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  101. Shukri, Muhammad Fu’ad. Mīlād al-dawla al-Lībiyya al-ḥadītha: Wathā’iq taḥrīriha wa-istiqlālihā. 2 vols. Cairo, Egypt: Matba٬ al-‘Itimad, 1957.
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  103. First part devoted to years 1945–1947, second part to 1948–1952. Analyzes the role played by the Sanusi order in the history of the new Arab state. (Title translation: The Birth of the Modern State of Libya: Documents of Its Liberation and Independence.)
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  105. Vikør, Knut S. “The Sanūsī Letters: A Checklist.” Sudanic Africa 3 (1992): 149–162.
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  107. Inventory, with references, of correspondence collections of the Sanusi order from roughly 1800–1916. Includes letters detailing political relations, pastoral admonitions, and practical information on running lodges (zawayya). Many of these letters included in Vikør 1995, cited under Sanusis as a Religious Order.
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  109. Travelers’ Accounts
  111. Because Libya was at the crossroads between the Middle East, Europe, North Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa, many 19th-century travelers and explorers passed through its trading hubs on the way to the African interior. Britain financed trade expeditions mainly devoted to the search for the source of the Niger River as a means of controlling African resources and trade routes via its interior waterways. Once British abolitionist societies targeted the slave trade, the trans-Saharan slave trade became a focus of expeditions to document abuses. Most travelers’ accounts can be downloaded free in their entirety from Google Books. Wright 2005 is a chronologically organized survey of travelers’ accounts in extract form covering the period from the 15th century to 1911, including many important ones not highlighted in this essay. One of the most important and oft-cited precolonial sources is Miss Tully 1819. Miss Tully’s correspondence reveals unique access to the harem with its female information network. Hornemann, et al. 1802 includes detailed observations of life, mores, and political conditions of people living in the desert oases and towns connecting Egypt to Morzuq in the southwest. Della Cella and Aufrère 1822 explores the ecology and societies of those living in the Syrte desert separating the eastern and western provinces of Cyrenaica and Tripolitania. Barth 1857 describes the author’s journey across the Sahara in search of the source of the Niger River, providing information about the trans-Saharan trade networks. Nachtigal 1974 provides information on Libya’s ethnic groups, especially the Tebu. Duveyrier 1864 provides information about the Touareg. Richardson 1853 supplies eyewitness accounts of the trans-Saharan slave trade by an abolitionist. See also Duveyrier 1884, cited under Sanusis as a Religious Order.
  113. Barth, Heinrich. Travels and Discoveries in North and Central Africa: Being a Journal of an Expedition Undertaken under the Auspices of H. B. M.’s Government, in the Years 1849–1855. 3 vols. New York: Harper, 1857.
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  115. Prussian geographer and polymath crossed the Libyan desert in 1850s searching for the source of Niger River. Traveled with the British central African mission. Crossing the Sahara from Tripoli, his book is full of meticulous, insightful observations en route. First to notice and record ancient rock art in caves.
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  117. Della Cella, Paolo, and Anthony Aufrère. Narrative of an Expedition from Tripoli in Barbary, to the Western Frontier of Egypt, in 1817, by the Bay of Tripoli; in Letters to Dr. Viviani of Genoa: With an Appendix, Containing Instructions for Navigating the Great Syrtis. London: Arch, 1822.
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  119. Genoese naval physician who journeyed to the desolate country between the population centers of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica known as Syrtica in an expedition led by the Qaramanli pasha’s son in 1817. The country of Syrtica was, in the early 19th century, one of the least known areas and would become the birthplace of the future leader Muammar Qadhafi.
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  121. Duveyrier, Henri. Exploration du Sahara: Les Touareg du Nord. Paris: Ainé, 1864.
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  123. Born of a French father and an English mother, set out from Algiers and traveled the Sahara from 1859 to 1861, staying in the country of the Touareg confederation between eastern Algeria and western Libya at the age of nineteen. Was awarded the Legion of Honor at the age of twenty-two for his explorations.
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  125. Hornemann, Friedrich, James Rennell, William Marsden, and William Young. The Journal of Frederick Horneman’s Travels, from Cairo to Mourzouk, the Capital of the Kingdom of Fezzan, in Africa, in the Years 1797–8. London: G. and W. Nicol, 1802.
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  127. Horneman was a young German working for the African Association of London who traveled disguised as a Turkish merchant. Journeyed by caravan in 1798 from Cairo to Fezzan. Was probably the first European to reach the Fezzani capital and entrepôt of Morzuk and live to write about it. Contains valuable information about politics, trade, and geography of Fezzan and neighboring areas in and around the Sahara. Covers the trans-Saharan trade in luxury goods and slaves.
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  129. Miss Tully. Letters Written during a Ten Years’ Residence at the Court of Tripoli; Published from the Originals in the Possession of the Family of the Late Richard Tully, Esq.: The British Consul: Comprising Authentic Memoirs and Anecdotes of the Reigning Bashaw, His Family, and Other Persons of Distinction; Also an Account of the Domestic Manners of the Moors, Arabs, and Turks. 3d ed. 2 vols. London: Colburn, 1819.
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  131. Written between 1772 and 1783 by the sister of the British consul in Tripoli, covers the golden age of the Qaramanli dynasty of Tripolitanian governors. Contains useful social and political observations about the court, including the women’s quarters or harem.
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  133. Nachtigal, Gustav. Sahara and Sudan. London: Hurst, 1974.
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  135. German explorer and doctor, passed through Tripoli, Morzuk, and southern Fezzan in 1869. Explored the Tebu people of central Sahara and eastern Libya. Also famous for his explorations of the Sudan. Originally published in 1869.
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  137. Richardson, James. Narrative of a Mission to Central Africa Performed in the Years 1850–1851: Under the Orders and at the Expense of Her Majesty’s Government. 2 vols. London: Chapman and Hall, 1853.
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  139. British explorer and agent of the British and Foreign Anti-slavery Society, traveled in 1845 from Tripoli to Ghadames and Ghat, two of the most important slaving centers, before returning through Morzuk to Tripoli. Went on the journey in search of slaving networks and their sources.
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  141. Wright, John, ed. Travellers in Libya. London: Silphium, 2005.
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  143. A collection of extracts with contextual information of the major expeditions into sub-Saharan Africa passing through Libya, including biographies of its most renowned explorers. Includes information on the trans-Saharan caravan and slave trade. Useful as a quick reference aid in sifting through actual sources.
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  145. Dictionaries
  147. Dictionaries dealing with historical topics include political institutions, events, ideas, and personages that have shaped present-day Libya. One of the earliest is Hahn and Muirragui 1981, which has a useful bibliography as well as maps. St. John 2006 provides an updated version of Hahn and Muirragui, but has some anachronistic entries and idiosyncratic categorizations. Al-Zawi 2004 deals exclusively with the biographies of famous patriots, mainly from Tripolitania.
  149. Hahn, Lorna, and Maureen Muirragui. Historical Dictionary of Libya. African Historical Dictionaries 33. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow, 1981.
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  151. Includes a bibliography, useful introductory essay, two single maps, and a chronology of political events. A few longer entries supply details on more complex subjects like the Arab Socialist Union, Third Universal Theory, and other tenets of The Green Book.
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  153. St. John, Ronald Bruce. Historical Dictionary of Libya. 4th ed. Historical Dictionaries of Africa 100. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow, 2006.
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  155. This is an update of Hahn and Muirragui 1981, following the same basic alphabetical/topical plan. Includes a sizable bibliography, useful introductory essay, two single maps, and a chronology of political events. Some longer entries supply details on more difficult subjects such as the Third Universal Theory and other tenets of The Green Book.
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  157. al-Zawi, Tahir. A‘lam Libiya. 3d ed. Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Madar al-Islami, 2004.
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  159. Biographical dictionary of Libya and its patriots, including those who fought for the homeland in anticolonial and nationalist struggles. Focuses on Tripolitania (Tarablus al-Gharb, its Arabic name).
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  161. Journals
  163. The most important English-language journal for internal Libyan affairs, politics, and history is the Libyan Studies Quarterly. Due to the political turmoil following Libyan the revolution of 2011, the journal’s Internet address no longer functions. Dailies during the Qadhafi era include Al-Jarida al-Rasmiyya (the official journal) and Al-Zahf al-Akhdar (The Green March), which published the decrees of the people’s revolutionary committees. The French-language journal Jeune Afrique features comparative articles about the region, with a focus on contemporary history and politics. Another French journal, Maghreb-Machrek, publishes scholarly articles arranged thematically in a comparative framework. A peer-reviewed English-language scholarly publication, the Journal of North African Studies features area-specific articles with a wide temporal span. The International Journal of Middle East Studies also publishes articles and book reviews pertinent to Libya.
  165. International Journal of Middle East Studies. 1970–.
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  167. Quarterly. Features interdisciplinary articles in the social sciences and the humanities, covering a wide temporal and geographical span of the Middle East. Each issue features at least five scholarly articles with full bibliographic references, at least ten book reviews averaging two pages, categorized by topic and listed in the table of contents.
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  169. al-Jarida al-Rasmiyya.
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  171. Official journal, published laws emanating from the General People’s Congresses and other official decrees during the Qadhafi era. No working URL, post-revolution.
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  173. Jeune Afrique. 1960–.
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  175. Weekly magazine covering in-depth reporting of current events. Includes regional and national news features about politics, the economy, science, medicine, and culture.
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  177. Journal of North African Studies. 1996–.
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  179. Published five times a year. Contents and abstracts available online. Scholarly journal defining region of Maghreb to include Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, but also Libya, Mauritania, and at times Egypt, and the Sudan. Research covers both individual countries and regional issues. Articles explore diplomatic, historical, and cultural links to Africa, Middle East, Europe, and the United States. All issues include articles and book reviews.
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  181. Libyan Studies Quarterly.
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  183. Distinguished international editorial board selects articles dealing with aspects of Libyan politics, history, geography, and economics. Web address is no longer functioning due to the post-revolution political situation. Published by the Center of Libyan Studies in Tripoli (Markaz Jihād al-Lībīyīn lil-Dirāsāt al-Tārīkhīyah), which houses a collection of oral interviews of fascist camp survivors, titled “The Oral History of the Jihad.”
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  185. Maghreb-Machrek. 1964–.
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  187. Quarterly journal (Paris: Documentation Française). Also known as Monde Arabe Française. Current events journal featuring reporting and scholarly analysis of major issues impacting Arabs in the Mediterranean region. Articles are grouped thematically with footnotes and full bibliographies. Includes book reviews. Issues feature country-by-country chronology, providing a context for recent political events.
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  189. Al-Zahf al-Akhdar.
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  191. Newspaper published by revolutionary committees, occasionally containing a front-page unsigned article by Qadhafi. As of yet no working URL, post-revolution.
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  193. Historiographical Controversies
  195. Historiographical debates revolve around North Africa’s colonial history in the longue durée and the nationalist history of Libya. Poncet 1967 describes how the myth that the Arab hordes in the 11th century halted the advance of civilization in North Africa, provided ideological justification for the European colonial enterprise in the 19th century. Italian colonialism was thus seen as restoring Roman civilization to its rightful place in the Mediterranean. Ahmida 2005 documents the main controversies in the history of modern Libya, beginning with teleology of national development arising from the division of time into precolonial, colonial, and nationalist/postcolonial periods. Historical accounts have focused on state formation involving elites and ruling dynasties, leaving out social processes and structures and the life world of non-elites. Another contentious, controversial theme is the collaboration of urban notables with Italian colonization, an understudied subject. A third controversy addresses the notion that Italian fascism was somehow more benign than the fascism of Nazi Germany, a view that erases the violence, brutality, and the ten-year resistance of the Libyans to the Italian conquest. Roumani 1983 succinctly sketches out the patterns of Libya’s political development. Abou-El-Haj 1983 points out the gaps in the evidentiary record and maps, noting areas for future research, including the incorporation of the Ottoman archives, and stressing the need for scholars fluent in both Arabic and Ottoman Turkish. Le Gall 1997 identifies topics that need further scholarly attention and elaboration, including a study on the Italian period as politically formative, a comparison of settler colonialisms, the Idrisi monarchy, and a study of Tripolitanian notables as compradors. Baldinetti 2003 is an edited collection of essays that explores controversial areas in the formation of Libyan political identity, focused on foreign influences, including Italian colonial brutality and the role of Libyan expats living abroad. Baldinetti 2010 examines the development of a national identity, focusing on the contribution of exiles to the struggle for Libyan political independence and self-definition. In a deeply insightful essay, which is part history and part sociology of historical production, Anderson 1991 analyzes Libya’s engagement with various historical narratives, pointing out the political uses of its past. For example, during the monarchy, the narration of occupation and resistance was not discussed because it raised the issue of collaboration with Italians, implicating the royal family who survived most likely by currying favor with foreign occupiers.
  197. Abou-El-Haj, Rifaat. “An Agenda for Research in History: The History of Libya between the Sixteenth and Nineteenth Centuries.” International Journal of Middle East Studies 15.3 (1983): 305–319.
  198. DOI: 10.1017/S0020743800050947Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »
  199. Discusses the tendency to produce “dynastic and political histories” that leave out important research on social aspects, like systems of property management, land ownership, life in cities, villages, and oases.
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  201. Ahmida, Ali Abdullatif. Forgotten Voices: Power and Agency in Colonial and Postcolonial Libya. London and New York: Routledge, 2005.
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  203. Work aimed at breaking nationalist and colonial stereotypes that currently structure and categorize Libyan history. Significant chapters on precolonial state formation, oral history, and genocide of tribal Libyans by the Italian fascists.
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  205. Anderson, Lisa. “Legitimacy, Identity, and the Writing of History in Libya.” In Statecraft in the Middle East: Oil, Historical Memory, and Popular Culture. Edited by Eric Davis and Nicolas Gavrielides, 71–91. Miami: Florida International University Press, 1991.
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  207. Examines the links between identity, postcolonial history, and the political uses of the past. Exposes and explains historical sensitivities, including the monarchy, trans-Saharan slave trade, and the Sanusi state.
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  209. Baldinetti, Anna. The Origins of the Libyan Nation: Colonial Legacy, Exile and the Emergence of a New Nation-State. Routledge Studies in Middle Eastern History 10. London and New York: Routledge, 2010.
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  211. Analyzes the contributions of those living outside the state (migrants and exiles) to the creation of Libyan nationhood up until the UN declaration of independence in 1951. Includes extensive references to literature in Arabic, Italian, English, and French. Comprehensive review of the literature and its controversies.
  212. Find this resource:
  213. Baldinetti, Anna, ed. Modern and Contemporary Libya: Sources and Historiographies. Papers delivered at the First World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies, Mainz, Germany, 8–13 September 2002. Fonti e Studi per la Storia della Libia 1. Rome: Istituto Italiano per L‘Africa e L’Oriente, 2003.
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  215. Compilation of papers delivered in a joint Libyan and Italian conference in 2002 (First World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies, Mainz, Germany, 8–13 September). Essays cover the colonial relationship, historiography of anticolonial resistance, the use of photography and professional journalists during the Italo-Turkish War, the nonviolent penetration of capital investment through Banco di Roma, and the urban environment. Includes pictures and plates.
  216. Find this resource:
  217. Le Gall, Michel. “Forging the Nation-State: Some Issues in the Historiography of Modern Libya.” In The Maghrib in Question: Essays in History and Historiography. Edited by Michel Le Gall and Kenneth Perkins, 95–108. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1997.
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  219. Insightful essay in a collection devoted to examination of historiography beyond colonial and nationalist categories. Identifies the gaps in the current literature on Libya, including the use of Ottoman sources, a study on the Italian period as politically formative, a comparison of settler colonialisms, the Idrisi monarchy, and a study of Tripolitanian notables as the willing accomplices of Italian authorities.
  220. Find this resource:
  221. Poncet, Jean. “Le Mythe de la ‘Catastrophe’ Hilalienne.” Annales: Économies, Sociétés, Civilisations 22.5 (1967): 1099–1120.
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  223. Exposes as a myth the notion (taken as truth) of a catastrophic invasion of Arab tribes in the 11th century that devastated North Africa for hundreds of years, leading 19th-century European powers to redeem, through colonization, the remaining traces of classical societies in the name of civilization.
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  225. Roumani, Jacques. “From Republic to Jamahiriya: Libya’s Search for Political Community.” Middle East Journal 37.2 (Spring 1983): 151–168.
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  227. Excellent and succinct contextualization of Libya’s historical patterns, including the Qadhafi revolution. Schematic representation of historical phases captures major eras of Libya’s past.
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  229. The Regency of Tripolitania (1711–1835)
  231. The Regency of Tripolitania, or Tarablus al-Gharb in Arabic, had its capital at Tripoli, the urban center of the province. For most of the 19th century, the regency was administered by the Qaramanli dynasty of governors. The nature of this quasi-independent state is in dispute. Consular and travel narratives (see Travelers’ Accounts and Primary Sources for this period) present the traditional narrative of a weak central state exercising little or no control over the hinterland and its tribal populations. Beyond the army’s ability to collect taxes from traders, peasants, and tribes, much of the literature assumes the state had no administrative capacity. Later literature proposes that the Qaramanli dynasty was part of a larger phenomenon throughout the Ottoman Empire in which provincial governors and urban tax collectors paved the way for the rise of autonomous states in the 18th century. The importance of this debate lies in the assertion of an indigenous and evolving political identity independent of direct colonial control or civilizing mission and that tutelage does not account for all modernizing or centralizing tendencies.
  233. Qaramanli Dynasty
  235. The forces responsible both for the power and the dissolution of the regency of Tripoli are analyzed by the readings in this section. Pennell 1989 asserts the existence of political loyalty to the ruling family of Qaramanli governors and the development of centralized government in precolonial Libya. A reliable source from the period, Ghalbun 2004, provides a firsthand account of the ruling dynasty’s political fortunes and its interactions with foreign powers. Although a small study, Hume 1980 describes the kind of “advisory” yet constitutive political influence wielded by foreign agents. Based on extensive archival research, the Nigerian author of Folayan 1979 also claims that despite considerable internal dissension, the process of political centralization was already underway prior to European colonial incursion. Ibn Isma’il 1866 chronicles the forces that drove the regency into political and financial disarray. Unlike the other readings in this section that focus exclusively on elites in the centers of government, Lafi 2002 is one of the few studies devoted to precolonial social history, namely urban life and institutions.
  237. Folayan, Kola. Tripoli during the Reign of Yūsuf Pāshā Qaramānlī. Ife History Series 1. Ile-Ife, Nigeria: University of Ife Press, 1979.
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  239. Definitive and classic work on the history of the Qaramanli dynasty of Tripoli. Traces efforts of political integration, including the Fezzan and Cyrenaica. Provides information on consular intrigues and piracy.
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  241. Ghalbun, Muhammad Khalil. Al-Tidhkār fī-man malaka Ṭarābulus wa-mā kāna bihā min al-akhyār. 2d ed. Edited by Tahir Ahmad al-Zawi. Beirut, Lebanon: Dār al-Madār al-Islāmi, 2004.
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  243. Primary source on the history of the Qaramanli dynasty. This 18th-century local historian chronicles the court intrigues, financial tribulations, and relations of the Qaramanlis with Mediterranean powers and the Ottoman Porte. (Title translation: A Reminder of Tripoli’s Rulers and Her History.) Originally published in 1967.
  244. Find this resource:
  245. Hume, Leonard J. “Preparations for Civil War in Tripoli in the 1820s: Ali Karamanli, Hassuna D‘Ghies, and Jeremy Bentham.” Journal of African History 21.3 (1980): 311–322.
  246. DOI: 10.1017/S0021853700018326Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »
  247. Traces the history of a conspiratorial plot involving chief Minister D‘Ghies and English philosopher Jeremy Bentham, who produced a European-inspired code of law for Tripoli. Useful in documenting connections between the regency, European powers, and social movements.
  248. Find this resource:
  249. Ibn Isma’il, ’Umar. Inhiyār ḥukm al-usra al-qaramanliyyah fī Lībya, 1795–1835. Tripoli: Maktabat al-Firjani, 1866.
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  251. Traces the causes of financial, diplomatic, and political decline or implosion of the Qaramanli dynasty leading to the second Ottoman occupation. (Title translation: The Collapse of the Qaramanli Dynasty in Libya.)
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  253. Lafi, Nora. Une ville du Maghreb entre ancien régime et réformes Ottomanes: Genèse des institutions municipales à Tripoli de Barbarie, 1795–1911. Villes: Histoire, Culture, Société. Paris: Harmattan, 2002.
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  255. Urban history of Tripoli; takes into account the contributions of Greek, Maltese, and other foreign communities in the formation of modern Libya. Analyzes the functioning of the city from 1795 to Italian conquest; theorizes the notion of space; analyzes the institutions of Tripoli. (Footnotes run continuously from chapter to chapter.)
  256. Find this resource:
  257. Pennell, C. Richard. “Work on the Early Ottoman Period and Qaramanlis.” Libyan Studies 20 (1989): 215–219.
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  259. Surveys the literature on the early Ottoman period. Excellent introduction to literature and historiographical controversies.
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  261. Barbary Corsairing and Diplomacy
  263. For the vast majority of the population, animal husbandry, inland trade, and agriculture were the main means of generating public funds and earning a living. But populations living in coastal towns and officers of the court relied upon the revenue-generating activity of the corsairs who demanded tribute from European ships passing through Mediterranean waters. McLachlan 1978 analyzes this tension. Corsairing was a means by which a centralizing government, especially at Tripoli, raised revenues by levying taxes on European shipping through the Mediterranean and by taking captives and ransoming them for money. Panzac 2005 examines the revenue-generating phenomenon of corsairing in the Mediterranean, free from nationalist polemics. A number of works document the history of this interaction with the Barbary pirates and the fledgling power of the United States. Allison 1995 describes how the struggle with the Barbary pirates shaped American self-image. Corsairing declined after the Peace of Europe in 1815, and as a result, European consuls gained power and influence. Based on Miss Tully’s letters (see Miss Tully 1819, cited under Travelers’ Accounts), Dearden 1976 takes a Eurocentric stance toward corsairing, chronicling how the victorious Europeans finally put an end to it with a diplomatic and bombing campaign, making the seas safe for European-dominated commerce regulated by international law.
  265. Allison, Robert J. The Crescent Obscured: The United States and the Muslim World, 1776–1815. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995.
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  267. Presents military encounters with Barbary pirates as formative to the US self-understanding as a pioneering power. US victory on high seas helped propel the end of piracy among European powers.
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  269. Dearden, Seton. A Nest of Corsairs: The Fighting Karamanlis of Tripoli. London: John Murray, 1976.
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  271. Eurocentric portrayal of corsairs and their role, with a triumphalist account of how Europeans put an end to five hundred years of piracy.
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  273. McLachlan, Keith S. “Tripoli and Tripolitania: Conflict and Cohesion during the Period of the Barbary Corsairs (1551–1850).” Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, new ser., 3.3 (1978): 285–294.
  274. DOI: 10.2307/622157Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »
  275. Analyzes the tensions and symbioses between different axes of Tripolitanian society, coast, and hinterland, with respect to productive and revenue-raising capacities. Also published in Settlement and Conflict in the Mediterranean World, on behalf of the Royal Geographical Society (Oxford: Blackwell, 1978).
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  277. Panzac, Daniel. Barbary Corsairs: The End of a Legend, 1800–1820. Ottoman Empire and Its Heritage 29. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2005.
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  279. Scholarly analysis of corsairing along the Barbary coast as a phenomenon tied to the political economy of Mediterranean shipping as it transformed in the 19th century.
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  281. Cyrenaica, the Sufi State? (1843–1932)
  283. The Sanusiyya was a Sufi (or mystical) order founded by an urban religious scholar from Algeria, Mohammad Ben Ali al-Sanusi (b. 1787–d. 1859), who founded the movement in 1842 with the building of a lodge (zāwiyyaa) in Cyrenaica. Known as al-Barqa in Arabic, Cyrenaica was an Ottoman administered province east of Tripoli with cultural ties to Egypt. Having established a quasi-independent state, the success of the Sanusi order was based on trade, a complex regional tribal structure, and ideology of revivalist Islam. Literature about the Sanusiyya centers on understanding the movement in its religious, social, economic, and mainly political role. Most works pose the question: Did the Sanusis constitute a semi-independent and religiously based state or a federated province with Tripolitania? Was it conceived as such from the outset? (This question still resonates, especially after the Libyan revolution of 2011, led from Benghazi.) A second issue is explaining the social basis for political resistance, locating it in the pastoralist tribal structure, as opposed to religious orthodoxy.
  285. Sanusis as a Religious Order
  287. Sanusi lodges were located between tribal lands and transcended tribal affiliations, serving as regional centers for trade, cultivation, agriculture, worship, education, and legal recourse across large swathes of North Africa. The classic text Depont and Coppolani 1897 examines the rise of 19th-century Sufi orders in the context of pan-Islamist ideologies and anticolonial struggles following the Congress of Berlin and the Scramble for Africa. A more contemporary analysis, Martin 2003, historicizes the Sanusiyya within its pan-Africanist social milieu, while Popovic and Veinstein 1996 provides a history of the order within Islamic discourse and theology from the religion’s inception. Among the “contextualizers” stressing continuity, Ghazi 1983 explains the rise of the Sanusiyya within the last two hundred years of revivalist Islam. In a more polemical work written by a defender of the French civilizing mission in North Africa, Duveyrier 1884 portrays the Sanusis as a state within a state, challenging both the Ottoman and the French civilizing missions. Vikør 1995 uses the biography of its founder and the rise of the order as an immediate starting point. By analyzing Mohammed al Sanusi’s correspondence, Vikør contends that the Sanusis were a strictly faith-based organization with no political aims at the outset. They grew into the role of defenders of the faith much later as the political vacuum diminished viable options, created by the withdrawal of the Ottomans and the corresponding advance of the Italian forces. Shukri 2006 takes up the question of how and when the Sanusis were either a state or a religious order, or both. Less concerned with the immediate political context in which the Sanusis developed, Ziadeh 1983 supplies a classic study of doctrinal beliefs.
  289. Depont, Octave, and Xavier Coppolani. Les confréries religieuses musulmanes. Algiers, Algeria: Jourdan, 1897.
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  291. Classic survey of Sufi brotherhoods across Africa, written during the height of pan-Islamism, when these religious associations were mounting their greatest resistance against colonial incursion.
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  293. Duveyrier, Henri. La confrérie musulmane di Sîdi Mohammed ben ‘Alî es-Senoûsî et son domaine géographique en l’année 1300 de l’hégire, 1883 de notre ère. Paris: Société de Géographie, 1884.
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  295. Informative, nuanced, but polemical work influenced by the politics of anticolonial resistance. Claims Sanusi “hatred” for foreign Christians and Jews, and mutual antipathy toward the Ottoman administration. Includes pullout map of Sanusi lodges across North Africa in 1880s.
  296. Find this resource:
  297. Ghazi, Mahmud Ahmad. “Emergence of the Sanusiyyah Movement: A Historical Perspective.” Islamic Studies 22.3 (Autumn 1983): 21–43.
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  299. Places Sanusiyya in the developmental context of Islamic revivalist tendencies across the Muslim world in the last two centuries. Points out doctrinal commonalities and teachings. Emphasizing continuity and organic growth, careful not to label the movement sectarian.
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  301. Martin, Bradford G. Muslim Brotherhoods in Nineteenth-Century Africa. African Studies Series 18. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2003.
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  303. Chapters are in-depth and contextualized sociohistorical studies of particular currents and movements across Africa, including Mauritania, Mali, Senegal, Nigeria, etc. Chapter on Libya deals with a chronological account of the Sanusiyya’s rise as well as the ideological and political crosscurrents of the time.
  304. Find this resource:
  305. Popovic, Alexandre, and Gilles Veinstein. Les voies d’Allah: Les ordres mystiques dans l’Islam des origines à aujourd’hui. Paris: Fayard, 1996.
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  307. Theoretically informed survey of Sufi religious orders including contemporary milieu, both in traditionally Muslim lands and in the West.
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  309. Shukri, Muhammad Fu’ad. Al-Sanūsīyah: Dīn wa-dawla. 2d ed. Edited by Youssef El-Megreisi. Oxford: Markaz al-Dirasat al-Libiyya, 2006.
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  311. Focuses on the colonial period and monarchy; posits that the Sanusis were more than just a religious order, having all the aspects of a state, from control of the desert trading economy to the administration of justice, and even a postal system. Relies on 19th-century European sources, frames resistance as a struggle for political liberation of the country. (Title translation: The Sanusiyya: Religion and State.)
  312. Find this resource:
  313. Vikør, Knut S. Sufi and Scholar on the Desert Edge: Muḥammad B. ‘Alī Al-Sanūsī and His Brotherhood. Series in Islam and Society in Africa. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 1995.
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  315. Claims origins of Sanusiyya Sufi order were not expressly political, but strictly religious. From 1912, with the victory of the Italians and the ceding of the territory by the Ottomans, a call to jihad transformed the Sanusiyya from a familial entity to a political and military organization. Includes English translations of the original correspondence.
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  317. Ziadeh, Nicola A. Sanūsiyah: A Study of a Revivalist Movement in Islam. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 1983.
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  319. Classic historical study of Sanusi philosophical thought and doctrine.
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  321. Socioeconomic Structure
  323. The success of the Sanusiyya has been attributed to the close connection between the sparsely populated geography and the region’s tribal structure. Major anthropological works have thus analyzed the adaptation of geography and social structure to the development of the Sanusis as a faith-based community. Conclusions of works in the literature on tribal structures are extended and applied to other regions in Libya. The classic study of the British anthropologist and a colonial officer Evans-Pritchard, Evans-Pritchard 1949, portrays the pastoralism of the people of Cyrenaica as immutable and embedded in an ageless, enduring, and egalitarian tribal social structure. Written by a student of Evans-Pritchard, Peters 1990 in a ten-point rebuttal gives the most incisive and analytically convincing response to many of his teacher’s theses. Peters is most effective when providing “thick descriptions” of social institutions and historicizing the struggle against Italian colonialism. Behnke 1980 analyzes patterns of the environmental adaptation of dominant social groups and their kinship ties.
  325. Behnke, Roy H. The Herders of Cyrenaica: Ecology, Economy, and Kinship among the Bedouin of Eastern Libya. Illinois Studies in Anthropology 12. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1980.
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  327. Covers the geography, agriculture, animal husbandry practices, seasonal migration patterns, inheritance customs, geopolitics, central government, and social change economics in anthropology of Cyrenaica residents. Contains seventeen tables, fourteen figures, eighteen maps, and fourteen pictures of social life.
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  329. Evans-Pritchard, E. E. The Sanusi of Cyrenaica. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1949.
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  331. Classic work, characterizes the Sanusiyya as a nationalist movement deeply invested in the anticolonial struggle. Highlights the political features of the religious order. Heavily influenced by its 1942 historical context. Evans-Pritchard served as political officer to the British military administration of Cyrenaica whose war aim was to make the nomadic Bedouin settle into permanent dwellings.
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  333. Peters, Emrys L. The Bedouin of Cyrenaica: Studies in Personal and Corporate Power. Edited by Jack Goody and Emanuel Marx. Cambridge Studies in Social and Cultural Anthropology 72. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1990.
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  335. Ten-point rebuttal of Evans-Pritchard’s segmental theory vis-à-vis the Sanusiyya. Chapter on obligation and debt offers an excellent analytically nuanced explanation of the politics of gift giving as social glue in tribal societies.
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  337. Fezzan, Gateway to Greater Africa
  339. The Fezzan is the desert entrepôt that served historically as the trading gateway to sub-Saharan Africa. From the 16th century to the early 19th century, it was controlled by the tribal confederation of Awlad Muhammad. Al-Hiznawi 1994 provides original primary source material documenting the interaction between the tribal confederation and representatives of more centralized states. Al-Hiznawi 1979 also contains a narrative account of the region’s history, based almost exclusively on its role in the trans-Saharan trade, almost 40 percent of which was in slaves. Based on the testimony of European travelers working for geographical societies or antislavery associations, Wright 2007 analyzes the trans-Saharan slave trade from sub-Saharan Fezzan through Tripoli and how the trek through the Sahara influenced explorers and abolitionists in London. Lydon 2009 examines the institution of slavery through trade networks across northwestern Africa, focusing on Islamic law and the provisions for manumission that ironically drove the trade because of constant diminishing supply. Though permitted under Islam, the status of a slave varied considerably and was not a permanent condition; under Islamic law, slaves could buy their freedom or be manumitted as an act of piety or conversion. Lydon’s extensively researched work supplies everyday life descriptions of the journey across the Sahara, bridging the gap between North and sub-Saharan Africa. It presents the networks of trade—from the financiers, to traders, markets, and clients with their legal, business, and life worlds. Martin 1983 documents the vicissitudes of the trans-Saharan slave trade in the late 19th century, on which the economy of the Fezzan depended, documenting Ottoman efforts to end the trade. With its connection to the Sahara, geography has impacted no region of Libya more than the Fezzan. The first three chapters of Ahmida 2005 analyze the historical changes in the political life and economy of this region. The collection of interdisciplinary essays in Ahmida 2009 includes a bold reimagination of the Sahara as a space of connection, and not a strictly racialized region of separation and emptiness between North and Black Africa.
  341. Ahmida, Ali Abdullatif. Forgotten Voices: Power and Agency in Colonial and Postcolonial Libya. London and New York: Routledge, 2005.
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  343. This influential work challenges the colonial and nationalist categories of historiography, introducing oral history of Libyan colonial subjects. Chapters 1 and 2 are on the political economy and trade networks of the Fezzan.
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  345. Ahmida, Ali Abdullatif, ed. Bridges across the Sahara: Social, Economic and Cultural Impact of the Trans-Sahara Trade during the 19th and 20th Centuries. Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars, 2009.
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  347. Collection of interdisciplinary essays reimagining the vast desert as a densely networked trading and living space connecting North and sub-Saharan Africa. Includes essays on the Sahara in literature.
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  349. al-Hiznawi, Habib Wadaa, ed. Tārīkh Fazzān. Tripoli: Center for Libyan Studies, 1979.
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  351. Focuses on the history, economy, and political interactions of what is now the southern Libyan region. Stresses its temporary integration to the government in Tripoli under the Qaramanlis.
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  353. al-Hiznawi, Habib Wadaa, ed. Wathā’iq Dawla Awlād Muḥammad. Vol. 1. Tripoli: Center for Libyan Studies, 1994.
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  355. Administrative documents of the Awlad Muhammad tribal confederation that ruled the Fezzan. Indigenous precolonial source supports the view that tribal groups did set up durable translocal governing structures and practices that included the management of resources. (Title translation: Documents of the State of Awlad Muhammad.)
  356. Find this resource:
  357. Lydon, Ghislaine. On Trans-Saharan Trails: Islamic Law, Trade Networks, and Cross-Cultural Exchange in Nineteenth-Century Western Africa. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009.
  358. DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511575457Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »
  359. This meticulously researched transnational study of social networks in Saharan commerce includes key nodal spaces in modern-day Libya, especially important in the transport of slaves and luxury goods like ostrich feathers and textiles. Documents the intersection between Islamic Law and business practice across the Sahara.
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  361. Martin, Bradford G. “Ahmad Rasim Pasha and the Suppression of the Fazzan Slave Trade, 1881–1896.” Africa: Rivista trimestrale di studi e documentazione dell’Istituto Italiano per l’Africa e l’Oriente 38.4 (December 1983): 545–579.
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  363. Reviews history of Fezzan and slave trade up until the latter half of the second Ottoman conquest. Documents successful efforts of an Ottoman governor to put an end to the slave trade. Places the discourse of abolition in its historical context.
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  365. Wright, John. The Trans-Saharan Slave Trade. History and Society in the Islamic World. London: Routledge, 2007.
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  367. Based mainly on the accounts of travelers (the most important of whom are listed in Travelers’ Accounts), this work focuses on the role of the Fezzan as the gateway to the Sahara, Ghadames, Tripoli, and other towns on the caravan routes. Includes information on prices of slaves, size of the market, routes, the desert trek and passage, and how Islamic law interacted with the trade (in most cases allowing manumission).
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  369. Second Ottoman Occupation (1835–1911)
  371. Between 1835 and 1911, the Ottoman state had taken over direct control of Tripolitania from the Qaramanlis. The Ottoman governors engaged in a centralization process by weakening the tribal chiefs, while local administrators built a bureaucracy capable of ruling Tripolitania and Fezzan. While the Ottomans established an army, schools, courts, postal, and telegraph systems, the Bank of Rome invested in projects of “passive colonization.” Merchants who worked for European bankers became a mediating or comprador class between Muslims and non-Muslims. Cachia 1945 is one of the few works on the second Ottoman occupation to use actual Ottoman sources, thus filling a lacuna in understanding of Ottoman administration and tribal populations. How successful were Ottoman state-formation efforts in reaching rural Cyrenaica or Fezzan? Did the Sanusiyya attempt to block Ottoman control? Al-Dajani 1971 asserts that Ottoman sovereignty did not penetrate the hinterland because of desert ecology, lack of revenues for a major cross-desert campaign, and the existence of local kinship ties. Given the limitations of Ottoman rule, le Gall 1989 asks subtle, penetrating questions mapping out a research agenda that explores the impact of the second Ottoman occupation on local politics. Martin 1990 presents a compelling case of indigenous local resistance to Ottoman occupation with Ghuma’s mid-century rebellion. For more on this period, see also Anderson 1986 cited under Historical Overviews.
  373. Cachia, Anthony Joseph. Libya under the Second Ottoman Occupation, 1835–1911. Tripoli: Government Press, 1945.
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  375. Examination of the Ottoman administration, incorporating Ottoman sources.
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  377. al-Dajani, Ahmad Sidqi. Lībyā qubayl al-iḥtilāl al-iṭāālī, aw ṭarāblus al-gharb fī akhir al-‘ahd al-‘uthmānī al-thānī (1881–1911). Tripoli: al-Matba’a al-Fannaniyya al-Haditha, 1971.
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  379. Relying on the Eurocentric accounts of Evans-Pritchard 1949 (cited under Socioeconomic Structure) and Duveyrier 1864 (cited under Travelers’ Accounts), asserts the existence of the indomitable hinterland populated by rebellious tribal populations. Provides no account of the interaction between the Sanussi order and the Ottoman officials, and no account of indigenous administration. (Title translation: Libya on the Eve of the Italian Occupation, or Tripoli at the End of the Second Ottoman Era [1881—1911].)
  380. Find this resource:
  381. le Gall, Michel. “The Ottoman Government and the Sanusiyya: A Reappraisal.” International Journal of Middle East Studies 21.1 (1989): 91–106.
  382. DOI: 10.1017/S0020743800032128Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »
  383. Historiographical survey of literature on Ottoman dealings with the Sanusiyya in Cyrenaica during the second occupation. Contests the tax-exempt status of the order and the notion that Sanusis helped the Ottomans collect taxes from the Bedouin. Claims that the order was not completely absorbed into state’s policy of pan-Islamism.
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  385. Martin, Bradford G. “Ghūma bin Khalīfa: A Libyan Rebel, 1795–1858.” In Studies in Ottoman Diplomatic History. Vol. 4. Edited by Selim Derengil and Sinan Kuneralp, 57–73. Istanbul: Isis, 1990.
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  387. Article documents the career of Ghuma al-Mahmudi, who in the 1850s led a tribal rebellion against the Ottoman reoccupation of the country. during the same time period, a second indigenous rebellion was mounted by ‘Abd al-Jalil Sayf al-Nasr, from the Fezzan.
  388. Find this resource:
  389. Italian Conquest and Colonial Rule
  391. As a late industrial power whose political unification was completed in 1871, Italy was a latecomer to the colonial rivalry in North Africa and the Mediterranean, but it nevertheless pursued national glory through colonial domination. Basing its colonialist claims on the reestablishment of Roman civilization on the African continent, Italy set out to conquer the territory that they would call Libya in a trumped-up war against the Ottoman rulers that began in 1911, proceeded in phases, and ended in 1932 when the last resistance was brutally crushed. Formal colonialism continued apace under the fascists from 1932 until their defeat by Allied desert forces in 1943. The subsequent sections on Italian colonialism document the history, ideology, and unresolved controversies of the Italo-Turkish War, the intervening period of the Tripoli Republic, Italian Fascist Colonialism, and the Anticolonial Resistance, with its brutal counterinsurgency operation.
  393. Italo-Turkish War (1911–1912)
  395. Having achieved geographic political unity a mere half century before, Italy was a latecomer to the colonial rivalry in North Africa and the Mediterranean, but it nevertheless pursued national glory through colonial domination. The prelude to military invasion was a passive colonialism: the Bank of Rome began investing in Libyan agriculture in 1907. Al-Barbar 1992 documents this financial penetration in his study, linking it to the larger and eventual project of the war. Bono 1992 reviews the interpretations and literature on the Italo-Turkish War, linking it to national pride and the civilizing mission, but also brutality, erasure, and historical injustice. The Italo-Turkish War (which even in the naming left out Libyans) was one of the first wars in which photographers were actively involved in its promotion to the metropolitan population. Experiences of the front were advertised in war-postcards, a practice that is just beginning to be documented by the Italian historian, Massimo Zaccaria. Zaccaria 2003 takes up the question of photojournalism and how it served the goals of state propaganda. Childs 1990 presents the case for war through the lens of great-power politics and diplomatic missions. Irace 1912 provides the nationalist defense of the colonial enterprise. In contrast, McCullagh 1913, by an English correspondent, gives a trenchant critique of the entire war effort. Bennett 1912 gives eyewitness information from the Turkish front, aimed at shattering nationalist myths of combat. Romano 2005 critically analyzes the nationalist narrative for going to war and attributes the rise of a truly modern supralocal nationalist consciousness to the military struggle with Italian colonialism. (For more on this debate, see also the Italian soldier’s letters from the front in Bono 1992, cited under Primary Sources.)
  397. al-Barbar, Aghil M. Economics of Colonialism: The Italian Invasion of Libya and the Libyan Resistance, 1911–1920: A Socio-economic Analysis. Tripoli: Markaz Jihad al-Libyin Studies Centre, 1992.
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  399. Study documents the passive colonialism of investment and evaluates the economic reasons for undertaking colonial conquest in Libya, as well as indigenous resistance to the plan.
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  401. Bennett, Ernest N. With the Turks in Tripoli: Being Some Experiences in the Turco-Italian War of 1911. London: Methuen, 1912.
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  403. Narrates the everyday experience of soldiers on the front. Focuses on the Turkish/Arab troop lines and dispels common myths.
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  405. Bono, Salvatore. “Dalla guerra Italo-Turca alla guerra Italo-Libica (1911–1912): Considerazioni sulla storiografia.” In Italia-Turchia: Due punti di vista a confronto: Convegno internazionale, Università di Pavia, 26–27 aprile 1990. Edited by S. Baretta, 195–204. Milan: Universita di Pavia, 1992.
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  407. Reviews the historiography of the war, including great-power politics, absence of Arab perspective, and irredentism of the Italian government.
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  409. Childs, Timothy. Italo-Turkish Diplomacy and the War over Libya, 1911–1912. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 1990.
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  411. Focuses on great-power politics and diplomatic brinksmanship to resolve “The Eastern Question.” Claims the Libyan campaign is central to the geopolitical understanding for World War I.
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  413. Irace, Tullio. With the Italians in Tripoli: The Authentic History of the Turco-Italian War. London: Murray, 1912.
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  415. Classic nationalist defense of the imperial mission in Libya. Compelling for its justification of the mission and its view of the declining Ottoman Empire.
  416. Find this resource:
  417. McCullagh, Francis. Italy’s War for a Desert: Being Some Experiences of a War-Correspondent with the Italians in Tripoli. Chicago: F. G. Browne, 1913.
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  419. Critically assesses the politics and conduct of the war. Chronicles abuses of the invading army through photographs and nationalist propaganda to sell the war.
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  421. Romano, Sergio. La quarta sponda: La guerra di Libia: 1911–1912. 2d ed. Milan: Longanesi, 2005.
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  423. Assesses the contribution of the Great War to the development of Libyan national sentiment. Concludes that the Italo-Turkish War incubated and then ushered in Libyan nationalism.
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  425. Zaccaria, Massimo. “The Other Shots: Photography and the Turco-Italian War, 1911–1912.” In Modern and Contemporary Libya: Sources and Historiographies. Edited by Anna Baldinetti, 63–89. Rome: Istituto Italiano per L‘Africa e L’Oriente, 2003.
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  427. Reviews the propagandistic use of photography and war correspondents in the Italian campaign. Contains eight photos.
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  429. Tripoli Republic (1918–1922)
  431. While many history books treat the period of Italian colonialism as one continuous episode from 1911 to 1943, it is important to recognize a brief and experimental interlude of republican self-governance in Tripoli. Anderson 1982 fills in an important gap by providing contextual information on this interlude of state building before the imposition of direct colonialism. What else can the period tell us about national identity? According to Simon 1987, the Sanusis did not contribute much during the first phase of resistance; the role played by the Ottoman regime and Tripolitanian families was more important and has been underestimated in the literature. Simon argues that the Sanusiyya were not as influential or as powerful as the literature (cited under Cyrenaica, The Sufi State?) assumes. Until after 1908, with the Young Turk Revolution, Simon asserts that there was no political consciousness.
  433. Anderson, Lisa. “The Tripoli Republic, 1918–1922.” In Social and Economic Development of Libya. Edited by E. George H. Joffé and Keith Stanley McLachlan, 43–79. Wisbech, UK: Middle East and North African Studies, 1982.
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  435. One of the only studies of its kind, it documents collaboration strategies of the urban notables with the Italian colonial administration.
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  437. Simon, Rachel. Libya between Ottomanism and Nationalism: The Ottoman Involvement in Libya during the War with Italy (1911–1919). Islamkundliche Untersuchungen 105. Berlin: Schwarz, 1987.
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  439. Resistance to the Italians was rooted in religion and the defense of Islam, identification with Ottoman Empire, family, and tribe. Sanusiyya did not contribute much in the first phase of the resistance—not as influential or as powerful as assumed. Ottoman regime and Tripolitanian families’ role more important and underestimated in the literature; until post 1908 with the Young Turk Revolution, there was no political consciousness.
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  441. Italian Fascist Colonialism (1922–1943)
  443. Basing its colonialist claims on the reestablishment of Roman civilization on the African continent, Fascist Italy sought to transform Libya into an offshore province of the Italian mainland, turning it into a “Fourth Shore” on the other side of “their” Mediterranean, or mare nostrum. Italian colonialism was based on two principles: population control through deportation and the projection of national pride. The Italian policy of “economic colonization” involved the mass “emigration of 20,000,” or ventemilla, mainly agricultural colonists from Italy to Libya, in an effort to relieve unemployment caused by late industrialization. After “establishing security,” what some scholars consider a euphemism for brutal colonial conquest, Libya became a project of demographic, or settler, colonialism. Readings in this section explore different aspects of this colonial project. Powell 1916 provides the classical defense for Italian colonialism. Segré 1974 broke ground in its critical examination of the Italian “Fourth Shore” myth, documenting the abuses of colonial conquest. In a trenchant critique, Rochat 1973 put forth archival evidence that destruction of civilians and their way of life was a colonial objective. Salerno 2005 extended this claim to include the charge of genocide. By contrast, Ben-Ghiat and Fuller 2008 extends the literal and symbolic meaning of the colonial enterprise to include both its destructive but also creative and aesthetic dimensions. Fuller 2007 analyzes the aesthetic functions in architecture and monumentality, tying colonialism to national pride based on spreading Roman civilization. This meant consciously identifying with the Roman Empire and the irredentist mission of resurrecting it in what had once been its African possessions. In a theoretically provocative book, McLaren 2006 links colonial monumentality to a tourism that created samples of both the modern and the traditional.
  445. Ben-Ghiat, Ruth, and Mia Fuller, eds. Italian Colonialism. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008.
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  447. Collection of interdisciplinary essays dealing with the enterprise of Italian colonialism, including the civilizing mission, banking, cartography, geographical associations, violence of the colonial conquest, population control, internment, and aesthetics. Discusses Italian fascism and the influence of the comprador business class.
  448. Find this resource:
  449. Fuller, Mia. Moderns Abroad: Architecture, Cities and Italian Imperialism. London and New York: Routledge, 2007.
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  451. Theoretically anchored study of colonial architecture and its role in the national self-construction of the metropole. Includes evidence from comparative case studies of Italian colonies in North and East Africa, the Mediterranean, and the Dodecanese Islands.
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  453. McLaren, Brian. Architecture and Tourism in Italian Colonial Libya: An Ambivalent Modernism. Studies in Modernity and National Identity. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2006.
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  455. Highly theoretical and pathbreaking book full of plates, illustrations, and posters about the colonial creation of both the “modern” and the “traditional” in the built environment. Based on the theory of anthropologist Johannes Fabian. Presents tourism in colonies as a “third wave of colonization” dependent on successful military control.
  456. Find this resource:
  457. Powell, E. Alexander. “The Italian ‘White Man’s Burden.’” In The Last Frontier: The White Man’s War for Civilisation in Africa. By E. Alexander Powell, 80–107. New York: Scribner’s, 1916.
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  459. Provides a defense of Italian colonialism and demonstrates colonial logic.
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  461. Rochat, Giorgio. Il colonialismo Italiano. Turin, Italy: Loescher, 1973.
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  463. Unsparing study of Italian colonialism, revealing the intention of Italian forces to annihilate the native population, if need be. Useful for understanding the strategic thinking behind the creation of concentration camps.
  464. Find this resource:
  465. Salerno, Eric. Genocidio in Libia: Le atrocità nascoste dell’avventura coloniale Italiana (1911–1931). Rome: Manifestolibri, 2005.
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  467. Study of the colonial conquest of Libya as a genocidal enterprise, with particular attention to the violent conditions of the camps.
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  469. Segré, Claudio. Fourth Shore: The Italian Colonization of Libya. Studies in Imperialism. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1974.
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  471. Influential and groundbreaking critical examination of Italy’s colonial venture in Libya. While critical of Italian colonialism, it does not mention the indigenous Libyans until the later chapters.
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  473. Anticolonial Resistance
  475. The Italian colonial army, with its mission of civilizing the desert nomads and tribes of Libya, engaged in a ten-year struggle to subdue the countryside—especially in Cyrenaica, where it faced a fierce guerilla resistance led by a seventy-four-year-old member of the Sanusi order, ‘Umar al-Mukhtar (also spelled al-Mokhtar), between 1922 and 1932. Santarelli, et al. 1986 provides interpretive essays of the resistance with primary documentary testimony of al-Mukhtar’s trial. Akkad 1998 faithfully captured and immortalized al-Mukhtar’s resistance with a film commissioned by the Libyan government, starring Anthony Quinn in the lead role. To prevent the general population from allying with the guerrillas, civilians were herded into concentration camps where much of the population and their animal herds perished. The Italian general Graziani, who captured al-Mukhtar, wrote several autobiographical accounts, among them Graziani 1948, justifying Italian actions. Italian historiography, focused on the gains in infrastructure, schools, and architecture, is only just beginning to confront the history of brutal measures taken to subdue the populace. A persistent and Eurocentric myth claims that Italian fascism did not involve acts of genocide or mass murder and was therefore less violent than the fascism practiced under the German Nazi regime. According to Ahmida 2005, this bias is based ultimately on a racialized interpretation of history that separated and devalued the experience in the colonies: German Nazis killed Europeans, creating outrage among other Europeans, but Italian fascists killed North African Muslims, playing into Orientalist fantasies of exotic races as well as modernist ideologies about the dehumanized, backward natives and the price exacted by modernity. Ahmida puts the anticolonial resistance in context through oral history testimony, much of it gathered through the Libyan Studies Center, founded by Qadhafi for the purpose of remembering the struggle against Italian colonialism. Del Boca 2011 covers the complex resistance and accommodation of Libyan upper and merchant classes, answering Ahmida’s concern with comprador roles in colonialism and the failure of the resistance.
  477. Ahmida, Ali Abdullatif. Forgotten Voices: Power and Agency in Colonial and Postcolonial Libya. London and New York: Routledge, 2005.
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  479. Chapters address the Eurocentric thesis that Italian fascism was more benign than German Nazism. Begins the task of collecting the oral history documenting the resistance to and genocidal practices of the Italian state.
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  481. Akkad, Moustapha, dir. Lion of the Desert, 1979. DVD. Troy, MI: Anchor Bay Entertainment, 1998.
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  483. Realistic cinematic portrayal of the resistance fighter Umar al-Mukhtar, commissioned by the Qadhafi government. Starring Anthony Quinn in the lead role.
  484. Find this resource:
  485. Del Boca, Angelo. Mohamed Fekini and the Fight to Free Libya. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.
  486. DOI: 10.1057/9780230116337Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »
  487. Translation from the Italian. Outlines the complex interaction of the Tripolitanian notable Fekini family, from collaboration with the Italian administration to active resistance.
  488. Find this resource:
  489. Graziani, Rodolfo. Libia Redenta: Storia di trent’anni de passione Italiana in Africa. Naples, Italy: Torella, 1948.
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  491. Autobiography of a fascist commander who justified the violent repression of Cyrenaicans, extolling the Bedouins’ education of body and spirit. Claimed encampments advanced civilization. Contains ninety photos from camps.
  492. Find this resource:
  493. Santarelli, Enzo, Giorgio Rochat, Romain Rainero, and Luigi Goglia, eds. Omar Al-Mukhtar: The Italian Reconquest of Libya. Translated by John Gilbert. London: Darf, 1986.
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  495. Interpretive collection of essays assessing the campaigns, resistance, and historical legacy of Libya’s iconic anticolonial figure. Includes primary documents, such as correspondence and testimony from the rebel’s trial.
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  497. Creating the Idrisi Monarchy (1951–1969)
  499. Italy’s colonies were ceded to the victorious powers of Great Britain, France, and the United States following its defeat in World War II. (See Baxter 1996, cited under Reference Works and Bibliographies for literature on the battles fought in Libya during the North African campaign of World War II.) Because the great powers could not agree on what to do with the territory, a UN vote brought the modern state of Libya into being as a federated constitutional monarchy with three regional states, a federal government, and three capitals crowned by a king (King Idris) and dominated by tribal shaykhs and urban notables. Rivlin 1949 provides a concise account of postwar conditions. At the time of independence, Libya was one of the poorest states in the world, dependent on economic aid and rent from British and American military bases. Shukri 1957 provides an account of the influence that exiles and the Sanusis wielded in the development of national consciousness within the three provinces. De Candole 1990 is one of the few biographies of King Idris, drawing a sympathetic portrayal of the monarch. Khadduri 1963 analyzes the structure of government in the Federal System, portrayed as a democratic form of government. In particular, the judicial system is analyzed in terms of structure, institutions, and ideology.
  501. de Candole, Eric A. V. The Life and Times of King Idris of Libya. London: Mohamed Ben Ghalbon, 1990.
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  503. Positive evaluation of the monarchy and the role of King Idris in particular. Assumes that the Sanusi were the principal political force in anticolonial resistance and eventual liberation. Also in Arabic, al-Malik Idrīs ‘āhil Lībiyā ḥayātuhu wa-‘aṣruh, by Eric A. V. de Candole (London: Muhammad ‘Abduh ibn Ghalbūn, 1989).
  504. Find this resource:
  505. Khadduri, Majid. Modern Libya: A Study in Political Development. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1963.
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  507. Focused on the structures of government and institutions of the Idrisi monarchy. Appendixes contain primary documents quoted in extenso; excerpts of treaties and concessions, such as the US Wheelus Air Base contract; texts of key UN resolutions quoted and analyzed, including proceedings of the National Assembly.
  508. Find this resource:
  509. Rivlin, Benjamin. “Unity and Nationalism in Libya.” Middle East Journal 3.1 (January 1949): 31–44.
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  511. Summary of UN debates around the status of Libya, post–World War II. Particularly relevant for discussions about federalism, as opposed to national unity, in post-Qadhafi Libya.
  512. Find this resource:
  513. Shukri, Muhammad Fu’ad. Milād al-dawla al-Lībiya al-ḥadītha: Wath’iq taḥrīriha wa-istiqlālihaā. 2 vols. Cairo, Egypt: Matba٬ al-‘Itimad, 1957.
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  515. Primary source highlights the contributions of exiled intellectuals in the formation of the nationalist movement. Part one covers the years 1945–1947; the second part is from 1948 to 1952. Emphasizes the role played by the Sanusi in the history of the new Arab state. (Title translation: The Birth of the Modern State of Libya: Documents of Its Liberation and Independence.)
  516. Find this resource:
  517. The Libyan Officers’ Revolution (1969–1977)
  519. The Libyan Revolution was a series of continuous political transformations that began as an officers’ coup in 1969, based initially on ideological principles of modernization, Arab unity, solidarity with the Palestinian cause, and a brand of socialism inspired by Arab-Islamic values. Increasingly, the revolution came to be identified with the life, personality, and thought of Colonel Qadhafi who led the coup and established the Council of Twelve Officers that would effectively govern the country. Readings in this section contextualize and critique the revolution’s aims and achievements. First 1974 chronicles the regime’s early struggles to implement an idealistic and increasingly utopian vision. First characterizes Qadhafi’s early phase as a policy of contradictions, as ideas that could not easily shed the limitations of historical patterns, cultural forms, and inherent limitations of geography. Davis 1987 explores the incorporation of tribal power and influence into the Qadhafi government. Vandewalle 2006 examines the creation of what he calls a condition of statelessness in the historical experience of constant revolutions that destroyed both state institutions and civil society. To gauge the success of revolution, Obeidi 2001 studied political mobilization and identification in Libya using attitudinal variables. Obeidi is one of the few authors to deal separately and directly with the role of women in revolutionary society. For more on this topic, see Gender. Martinez 2007 analyzes the complex implementation of Libya’s revolutionary policies, its impact on the major international players, and Qadhafi’s rehabilitation from terrorist to statesman as a consequence of his liberalizing policy during the war on terror.
  521. Davis, John. Libyan Politics: Tribe and Revolution: An Account of the Zuwaya and Their Government. Comparative Studies on Muslim Societies 2. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987.
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  523. Anthropological work analyzing Libya as a hydrocarbon society interacting with the tribally based “ideology of statelessness.” Isolates five key elements: revolution, petroleum, colonial history, puritan vision of Islam, and tribal images of statelessness. Work of political anthropology exploring connections to state interests and sociocultural obligations.
  524. Find this resource:
  525. First, Ruth. Libya: The Elusive Revolution. Penguin African Library. Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin, 1974.
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  527. Written by a South African journalist, chronicles Qadhafi’s early leadership phase as a policy of contradictions that imposed a new governing apparatus while it dismantled the old structures of an Idrisi rentier state.
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  529. Martinez, Luis. The Libyan Paradox. Translated by John King. CERI Series in Comparative Politics and International Studies. New York: Columbia University Press, 2007.
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  531. Examines controversial links between Qadhafi’s political ideology, terrorism, oil money, and instrumentalizing of Islam. Analyzes the impact of terror war on regime practice and ideology, leading ironically to Libya’s reintegration into the world community and questions of Qadhafi’s viability.
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  533. Obeidi, Amal. Political Culture in Libya. Richmond, UK: Curzon, 2001.
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  535. A 1994 attitudinal study of political socialization among university students in Qadhafi’s Libya. Examines identity variables of Islam, tribalism, political participation, belief in Arab unity, and nationalism. Direct discussion in chapter 7 of women’s roles in revolutionary society.
  536. Find this resource:
  537. Vandewalle, Dirk. A History of Modern Libya. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2006.
  538. DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511986246Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »
  539. Following a cursory historical context, focuses mainly on the Qadhafi era, analyzing how the “ideology of statelessness” was implemented in state policy and local revolutionary committee structure.
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  541. Qadhafi and the Jamahiriyya (1977–2011)
  543. Qadhafi coined the term “Jamahiriyya,” or government by and of the masses, in a 1973 speech (transcript of speech found in Qadhafi and Jouve 2005). This government was based on a concept of radical popular sovereignty elucidated in the Green Book (Qadhafi 2009), also called the “Third Universal Theory,” that purportedly abolished representative government and set up a social order free of private property, including even a proposal for the abolition of money. The transition to the direct democracy of the people’s government became official in 1977. St. John 1983 analyzes the Jamahiriyya ideology and its antecedents in other Arab political programs. Hajjar 1980 also investigates the philosophical roots of Qadhafi’s political thought, tracing it beyond the Arab world, to Rousseau. Qadhafi and Jouve 2005 explores key aspects of the Libyan leader’s ideology in question-and-answer form, while the Qadhafi 1980 provides a collection of speeches that trace the development of his notion of “the people’s authority.” Bianco 1975 deals with the mythology of Qadhafi in a sympathetic portrayal that compares him to the Prophet Mohammed, using elements of desert mysticism and Bedouin freedom. The collection of essays in Allan 1982 critically examines both the thought and legacy of the Libyan leader from an interdisciplinary perspective. While most works in this section present the thought and political experiment of the Jamahiriyya in a sympathetic light, First 1974, Vandewalle 2006, and Martinez 2007 (all cited under Libyan Officers’ Revolution) examine the Qadhafi legacy more critically.
  545. Allan, John A., ed. Libya since Independence: Economic and Political Development. London: Croom Helm, 1982.
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  547. Collection of essays by respected scholars from a 1981 conference, offering a diversity of perspectives. Compiled with the goal of understanding component parts to the whole of Libya; attention to historical development.
  548. Find this resource:
  549. Bianco, Mirella. Gadafi: Voice from the Desert. London: Longman, 1975.
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  551. Laudatory biography of the Libyan leader as both mystic and a daring political visionary.
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  553. Hajjar, Sami G. “The Jamahiriya Experiment in Libya: Qadhafi and Rousseau.” Journal of Modern African Studies 18.2 (June 1980): 181–200.
  554. DOI: 10.1017/S0022278X00011307Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »
  555. Comparison of Qadhafi and Rousseau with respect to the Third Universal Theory of statelessness and the concept of “general will.” Subtle explanation and concise analysis of Qadhafi’s ideology.
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  557. Qadhafi, Muammar. The Road to People’s Authority: A Collection of Historical Speeches and Documents. Libya: The Information Section, The People’s Committee for Students of the Socialist Peoples’ Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, 1980.
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  559. Speeches of Muammar Qadhafi, detailing the development of the theory behind the creation of the Jamahiriyya.
  560. Find this resource:
  561. Qadhafi, Muammar. The Green Book. 3 vols. Tripoli: Public Establishment for Publishing, Advertising and Distribution, 2009.
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  563. Originally published in 1976. Also called the “Third Universal Theory,” The Green Book constituted a third approach, after capitalism and Marxism, to just and effective social governance. Called for direct democracy based on the popular organization of the “people’s congresses” and committees. Had an economic and social agenda that Qadhafi claimed were based in Islam.
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  565. Qadhafi, Muammar, and Edmond Jouve. My Vision: Conversations and Frank Exchanges of Views with Edmond Jouve. Translated by Angela Parfitt. London: Blake, 2005.
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  567. Texts of conversations that explore the life and views of the Libyan leader on key issues—such as Israel, imperialism, Africa, and colonialism—at a time during his reintegration onto the world stage. Annexes include extracts from The Green Book, key speeches, and treaties with African countries.
  568. Find this resource:
  569. St. John, Ronald Bruce. “The Ideology of Mu‘ammar al-Qadhdhafi: Theory and Practice.” International Journal of Middle East Studies 15.4 (November 1983): 471–490.
  570. DOI: 10.1017/S0020743800051394Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »
  571. Reviews the elements of Qadhafi’s thought, including its roots in Nasserism and Arab nationalism, jihad, the Third Universal Theory, socialism, and Arab unity. Traces the intellectual ties to other Arab movements like Ba’athism.
  572. Find this resource:
  573. The Political Economy of Oil
  575. Oil was discovered in 1959, and immediately foreign companies, mainly British and American, invested in its production. Before this time, Libya had been one of the poorest countries in the world, averaging less than $50 per capita per year with a 90 percent illiteracy rate. during the North African campaign in World War II, British, Italian, and German armies destroyed infrastructure, and people made a living selling the scrap metal left behind by European armies in the Libyan desert. The discovery of oil transformed Libya into a rentier state, and Libya nationalized its reserves early on. Allan 1981 is a collection of essays exploring how oil has influenced Libyan domestic and foreign politics, including state building, authoritarianism, and the use of terror as a political tool. Vandewalle 1998 amplifies the analysis, focusing on domestic politics, arguing that capital inflows resulted in a pattern of a distributive state led by a military regime, making central government planning “inevitable.” Gurney 1996 focuses on the political economy of oil, including the role of the scientific establishment and its interactions of business and government elites to hammer out a legal framework for the discovery, processing, and distribution of this energy resource from its crude to refined form.
  577. Allan, John A., ed. Libya: The Experience of Oil. Boulder, CO: Westview, 1981.
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  579. Edited volume on various aspects of Libya’s rentier oil economy and revolutionary/authoritarian state building.
  580. Find this resource:
  581. Gurney, Judith. Libya: The Political Economy of Oil. Political Economy of Oil-Exploring Countries 4. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996.
  582. Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »
  583. Technical book, examines intersection between contract law, institutions, scientific (geological) establishment, oil industry, and national governments. Contains statistical and processual information on multinational oil companies, oil industry pricing mechanisms, and contract negotiations between states and the industry.
  584. Find this resource:
  585. Vandewalle, Dirk. Libya since Independence: Oil and State-Building. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1998.
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  587. Analyzes how oil has contributed to the formation of the Libyan state. Contains several bibliographical essay articles and a detailed chronology from 1951 to 1996. Chapter on wealth and revolution analyzes the politics of sudden capital oil flows in “late developers.”
  588. Find this resource:
  589. Islam and the State
  591. Qadhafi used Islam to prop up and justify his social and economic revolution, taking steps to undermine and supersede traditional religious authority by replacing the ulama, or jurists, among other actions. Under Qadhafi, unorthodox interpretations challenging traditional authority and belief gained currency; everyone could theoretically be a mujtahid, or interpreter, of religious law. Qadhafi also took steps to revise the Muslim calendar and began dating from the birth of the Prophet Muhammad instead of the hijra. Mayer 1982 presents a critical examination of legitimating maneuvers that instrumentalized or subverted traditional Islam and its authorities. For contrast, Ayoub 1987 explains Qadhafi’s revolutionary ideology as entirely consistent with Islam and not as an illegitimate reappropriation.
  593. Ayoub, Mahmoud. Islam and the Third Universal Theory: The Religious Thought of Mu‘ammar Al-Qadhdhafi. London and New York: Kegan Paul, 1987.
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  595. Hagiographic account of Qadhafi’s life and thought as a desert mystic bringing egalitarian and almost utopian vision to the world.
  596. Find this resource:
  597. Mayer, Ann Elizabeth. “Islamic Resurgence or New Prophethood: The Role of Islam in Qaddafi’s Ideology.” In Islamic Resurgence in the Arab World. Edited by Ali Hillal Dessouki, 196–220. New York: Praeger, 1982.
  598. Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »
  599. Critically analyzes the religious claims made by Qadhafi and the incorporation of Islamic thought into Libya’s revolutionary ideology.
  600. Find this resource:
  601. Foreign Policy and Terrorism
  603. For the first thirty years, the pillars of Qadhafi’s foreign policy were anti-imperialism and anticolonialism (including a hostility toward “the West” and Israel) schemes for promoting Arab unity and pan-Africanism with Libya at the helm. His support for radical and fringe groups as well as violent tactics earned him the sobriquet “mad dog” of the Middle East. St. John 1987 examines this history from the ideological premises of the Green Book (Qadhafi 2009, cited under Qadhafi and the Jamahiriyya). A series of terrorist plots linked to the Palestinian national cause exacerbated relations with the United States, leading to retaliatory air strikes. The 1988 bombing of a passenger jet over Lockerbie and the refusal to extradite alleged culprits or compensate the victims isolated Libya, making it a pariah state. Decades later, extradition and compensation payments for the families of survivors helped normalize bilateral relations. Davis 1990 explains the history of these foreign policy adventures and Qadhafi’s association with terrorism from the perspective of the US national self-interest and the established practices of international relations. For a contrasting perspective, Simons 1996 presents this history, critically examining the US and UN roles in the Lockerbie affair. Simons 2003 extends this history to include Libya’s human rights record and foreign wars, specifically its war against Chad over a disputed and mineral-rich border strip (the Aouzou Strip). Strang 2001 provides a text and analysis of the 1935 treaty at the alleged root of the territorial dispute. Joffé 1981 examines the Chad-Libya dispute in detail and context. Lemarchand 1988 deals with Libya’s Africa policy in general, including its religious and racial dimensions. Ronen 2008 explores how and why Qadhafi attempted to become an important international actor, making Libya a key (even if marginalized) player in international affairs.
  605. Davis, Brian L. Qaddafi, Terrorism, and the Origins of the U.S. Attack on Libya. New York: Praeger, 1990.
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  607. Analyzes the political, diplomatic, and military context in which the 1986 US military attack against Libya took place. The US military attack on Libya marked the culmination of America’s frustration over years of terrorist attacks without reprisal. The book’s detailed recounting is aimed at demonstrating that Libya was not an arbitrarily selected target, but rather a logical one.
  608. Find this resource:
  609. Joffé, E. George H. “Libya and Chad.” Review of African Political Economy 21 (May–September 1981): 84–102.
  610. DOI: 10.1080/03056248108703468Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »
  611. Multidimensional review and concise analysis of the conflict between Libya and Chad over the Aouzou Strip.
  612. Find this resource:
  613. Lemarchand, René, ed. The Green and the Black: Qadhafi’s Policies in Africa. Indiana Series in Arab and Islamic Studies. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1988.
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  615. Collection of essays critically examining the Libyan state’s revolutionary policies and foreign policy practices, especially toward Africa. Focused on Qadhafi’s instrumentalizing of Islam and his pan-Africanism, which professed solidarity with “black Africans” but internally discriminated against them.
  616. Find this resource:
  617. Ronen, Yehudit. Qaddafi’s Libya in World Politics. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 2008.
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  619. Written by an Israeli political scientist, examines the role of the Libyan leader and the factors that catapulted the country onto the world stage. Includes case studies of pan-African policy, and anecdotal clashes with the United States and other Western powers. Does not examine anti-Israel policy. Examples peppered with lively quotations from the Libyan leader.
  620. Find this resource:
  621. Simons, Geoff. Libya: The Struggle for Survival. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 1996.
  622. DOI: 10.1057/9780230380110Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »
  623. Beginning with the Lockerbie investigation for which Simons claims Libya was unfairly and singularly targeted, the book offers a critical and sometimes technical analysis of Libya’s recent past from its inception, through Italian colonialism, the installation of the monarchy, discovery of oil, and Qadhafi’s revolution.
  624. Find this resource:
  625. Simons, Geoff. Libya and the West: From Independence to Lockerbie. Oxford: Centre for Libyan Studies, 2003.
  626. Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »
  627. Critical review of UN intervention and Western “new world order” policies toward Libya in four key areas: its creation as an independent state after World War II, the territorial and border settlement dispute with Chad over the Aouzou Strip, the Libyan human rights record, and the Lockerbie bombing case. Includes nine appendixes of relevant UN resolutions.
  628. Find this resource:
  629. St. John, Ronald Bruce. Qaddafi’s World Design: Libyan Foreign Policy, 1969–1987. London: Saqi, 1987.
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  631. Starts from the premise that Libya’s regional and foreign policy has a rational and ideological basis in the Third Universal Theory, and is not the erratic impulse of a “mad dog.” Contextualizes views on society, Israel-Palestine, superpower relations, Arab unity, pan-Africanism, and oil policy.
  632. Find this resource:
  633. Strang, G. Bruce. “Imperial Dreams: The Mussolini-Laval Accords of January 1935.” Historical Journal 44.3 (September 2001): 799–809.
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  635. Text of the accord temporarily settling the border between Italian-Libya and French-Chad. Dispute over the Aouzou Strip between these two countries was a reason for sporadic war from 1978 to 1987.
  636. Find this resource:
  637. Ethnic Groups (Berbers, Jews, Tebu, Touareg)
  639. Although the majority of Libyans identify as Sunni Arabs, historically significant pockets of other ethnic or racial groups existed in distinct regions of the country, including Jewish, Berber, Touareg, and Tebu (Toubu) peoples. Long repressed under Qadhafi, who considered them a creation of the colonial authorities, the Berbers in Libya have experienced a cultural and linguistic resurgence, documented in a bilingual website Tawalt. Among the most well documented of Libya’s ethnic minority communities are the Jews of Libya, which in the days of World War II numbered in the thousands. Goldberg 1980 is a translation of one of the most important sources, the diary of a Jewish merchant, Mordechai Ha-Cohen (b. 1856–d. 1929), beginning in the late Ottoman period and continuing to the Italian occupation. Goldberg 1990 is an anthropological tract combining the oral testimony of Libyan Jews living in Israel with written historical sources. Goldberg shows how the lives of Jews and Muslims were intertwined in rural as well as urban settings, and how this contact resulted in the adoption of Muslim customs in social rituals, such as marriage. Also availing herself of Ha-Cohen’s diary, the author of Simon 1992 gives a history of the position of Jewish women and their Zionist political awakening during the postwar period when the British, who controlled Palestine, also administered Libya. Roumani 2008 chronicles the deteriorating conditions between Jewish Libyans and their Muslim compatriots as the state of Israel consolidated its power, making Jewish emigration, according to Roumani, all but inevitable. Dupree 1958 documents the physical characteristics and way of life of Libya’s ethnic minorities, including the Touareg and Tebu people. Chapelle 1982 focuses on the history and way of life of the Tebu people living in the borderlands between Libya, Chad, Niger, and Sudan. For additional information on the Touaregs, see Duveyrier 1864, cited under Travelers’ Accounts.
  641. Chapelle, Jean. Nomades Noirs du Sahara: Les Toubous. Paris: Editions l’Harmattan, 1982.
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  643. The Tebu people live in Tbesti (intersection between Chad, Libya, and the Sudan) and speak the Daza dialect. Includes an analysis of caravan trade networks and domestic life.
  644. Find this resource:
  645. Dupree, Louis. “The Non-Arab Ethnic Groups of Libya.” Middle East Journal 12.1 (Winter 1958): 33–44.
  646. Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »
  647. Review of the ethnic populations of Libya from a classical anthropological perspective.
  648. Find this resource:
  649. Goldberg, Harvey E. Jewish Life in Muslim Libya: Rivals and Relatives. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990.
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  651. Work of historical anthropology providing details of Jewish life in late Ottoman and colonial Libya, based on the oral testimony of Libyan Jews residing in Israel. Part of the history and ethnography of “Oriental Jewry.” Demonstrates tension and interplay of cultural interactions between Jews and Muslims, especially in social institutions like marriage.
  652. Find this resource:
  653. Goldberg, Harvey E., trans. The Book of Mordechai: A Study of the Jews of Libya. Philadelphia: Institute for the Study of Human Issues, 1980.
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  655. Annotated translation of the diary of a polyglot Jewish merchant living in Tripoli and dying in Benghazi (b. 1856–d. 1929), full of keen observations about the daily life of both Muslims and Jews.
  656. Find this resource:
  657. Roumani, Maurice M. The Jews of Libya: Coexistence, Persecution, Resettlement. Brighton, UK: Sussex Academic, 2008.
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  659. Traces the history and political awakening of the Libyan Jewish community concentrated in the coast, from Italian colonialism to the postwar pogroms, to their final exodus post 1967, with resettlement in Israel presented as the only viable option to the onslaught of pan-Islamism and Arab nationalism.
  660. Find this resource:
  661. Simon, Rachel. Change within Tradition among Jewish Women in Libya. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1992.
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  663. Descriptive study of the status, education, family life, and work of Jewish women in Libya, showing syncretism with local culture and customs. Analyzes the civilizing contact with Alliance Israélite Universelle and Zionist political awakening by Palestinian Jewish soldiers stationed during the postwar British administration.
  664. Find this resource:
  665. Tawalt.
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  667. Berber website in both Arabic and Amazigh, containing newsfeeds, information on culture and language, and a downloadable language primer. Under Qadhafi, the Berber language had been banned.
  668. Find this resource:
  669. Gender
  671. Although the issue of gender and women’s roles in Libya (both post- and precolonial) remains an understudied subject, existing literature is remarkably diverse in its examination of postcolonial attitudes and geographic contexts. Debates around gender are heavily influenced by modernization theory. Education is seen as central to social change, especially regarding gender roles in the family, the reshaping of attitudes toward marriage and reproduction, and the increasing of the visibility of women in public life, mainly through work outside the home or representation in government. Dris-Ait-Hamadouche 2007 sets the parameters of the debate in a comparative regional (Maghrebi) context, while Obeidi 2001 examines both the legal reforms and institutional changes in the Jamahiriyya, especially among university students. Qadhafi 2009 provides the ideological underpinning for the reforms analyzed by Obeidi. Despite the gains, UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women 2008 critically examines remaining institutional forms of discrimination, especially in the legal environment and prevailing customs. Dissertation studies examine the impact of labor and education on changing attitudes, both among Libyan men and women. Abdulmatlub 1991 specifically targets labor and documents the marginalization of career paths for women. Putting the alleged progressive impact of education to the test, Allaghi 1981 examines the effect of training on rural women and finds its influence negligible. Traditional attitudes prove resilient. Abugeilah 1984 surveys attitudes toward marriage in southern and eastern Libya. While traditional roles are preferred, the study describes a society in transition to modernity, specifically defined around attitudes toward the nuclear family, self-selection of spouses, formal education, and work outside the home. Lastly, using data from Tripoli, Biri 1981 surveys men’s attitudes toward women’s roles, concluding that economic considerations are more important than religiosity or other “traditional” values.
  673. Abdulmatlub, Mohammad A. “Labor Force Participation, Occupational Distribution, and Occupational Attainment of Women in Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Society.” PhD diss., University of Utah, 1991.
  674. Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »
  675. Research based on Libyan census information and surveys of women in Benghazi (old province of Cyrenaica) in 1989. Heavily influenced by modernization theory. Sociological study shows women’s economic participation marginalized mainly in service and clerical occupations, remaining underrepresented in technological sectors.
  676. Find this resource:
  677. Abugeilah, Bashir Abulgasem. “Family Patterns and Newly Emerging Attitudes toward Marriage and the Status of Women in the South of Libya: The Case of Murzuk.” PhD diss., University of Pittsburgh, 1984.
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  679. Focuses on “modern attitudes” toward marriage and the status of women in the desert oases of Fezzan; data from Murzuk and Benghazi. Survey of attitudes includes raising the marriage age, arranged cousin marriages, lowering the dowry, and favoring nuclear families. “Traditional” attitudes prevail, but shifting among university population.
  680. Find this resource:
  681. Allaghi, Farida Abulkasam. “Rural Women and Decision Making: A Case Study in the Kufra Settlement Project, Libya.” PhD diss., Colorado State University, 1981.
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  683. In-depth analysis of the gendered division of labor in desert oasis ecology. Study examines the effect of education on “family influence” in rural women. Concludes that educational training has no significant effect on influence within the family unit. Fathers are more positively affirming of female contribution.
  684. Find this resource:
  685. Biri, El-Waheshy A. “Men’s Attitudes toward Women’s Roles in Libya: An Indicator of Social Change.” PhD diss., University of Akron, 1981.
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  687. Survey of two hundred males in the city of Tripoli. The study is heavily influenced by modernization theory. Indicates the prominence of economic considerations (dowry, employment, ownership of a car) in attitudinal changes, from traditional (believing in strict role differentiation) to modern egalitarian attitudes of role sharing and less sex segregation. Religiosity at the time had little influence.
  688. Find this resource:
  689. Dris-Ait-Hamadouche, Louisa. “Women in the Maghreb: Civil Society’s Actors or Political Instruments?” Middle East Policy 14.4 (Winter 2007): 115–133.
  690. DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-4967.2007.00328.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »
  691. Comparative study that examines discourses surrounding the question of female agency in terms of law, personal status, work, reproductive rights, and visibility in public life. Concludes that Maghrebi regimes instrumentalize women’s issues to remain in power. Because citizenship rights are only granted through male mediation, citizenship remains a goal.
  692. Find this resource:
  693. Obeidi, Amal. “The Role of Women in Society: A Radical Transformation.” In Political Culture in Libya. By Amal Obeidi, 168–197. Richmond, UK: Curzon, 2001.
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  695. Study of university students examines the attitudinal and institutional changes, largely imposed from above, involving women’s roles in the Jamahiriyya.
  696. Find this resource:
  697. Qadhafi, Muammar. “Woman.” In The Green Book. Vol. 3. By Muammar Qadhafi, 26–42. Tripoli: Public Establishment for Publishing, Advertising and Distribution, 2009.
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  699. Manifesto stresses relative equality in terms of human rights, but with respect to biological differences. Urged female participation in the building of the nation, yet retained the emphasis on biological differences, stressing family as a social unit and the role of women as mothers; posited a “female nature” that should be catered to in work.
  700. Find this resource:
  701. UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women. Consideration of Reports Submitted by States Parties under Article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women: Combined Second, Third, Fourth and Fifth Periodic Reports of States Parties. UN Doc. CEDAW/C/LBY/5, 4 December 2008.
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  703. Critically examines the discriminatory nature of laws and customs regarding polygamy and personal status, divorce, child custody, and inheritance. Also includes information on “rape marriages.” Concludes that roles and responsibilities of women and men in the family reflect “entrenched, traditional stereotypes.” (Subsequent report in 2014.)
  704. Find this resource:
  705. Literature, Arts, and Music
  707. Considering that in 1969 the illiteracy rate in Libya was reportedly 90 percent, Libya’s literary output during the last fifty years is astonishing. Although some of the internal links are broken, the website Libyanet provides an introduction to prominent Libyan artists in both words and pictures, including novelists, painters, photographers, and poets. Among the most prolific and imaginative authors is the Fezzani novelist Ibrahim al-Koni, whose work has been translated into English by Elliott Colla and others. Colla 2009 explores al-Koni’s literary imaginary, which is heavily influenced by Touareg mores and lore. Chorin 2008 is a collection of short stories organized thematically. Celebrated novelist Hisham Matar (Matar 2006) first won notoriety for the political thriller In the Country of Men. The novelist (Matar 2011) followed up this success with an autobiographical novel, Anatomy of a Disappearance: A Novel, based on the disappearance of his own father. Though he was often the background subject of post-revolutionary Libyan fiction, the Libyan leader Colonel Qadhafi (Qadhafi 1998) published a collection of short stories, Escape to Hell and Other Stories. The collection is included in this anthology for contrast, because it offers a rare glimpse into Qadhafi’s political psychology and aesthetic sensibility.
  709. Chorin, Ethan Daniel, ed. Translating Libya: The Modern Libyan Short Story. SOAS Middle East Issues. London: Saqi, 2008.
  710. Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »
  711. Part anthology and part travelogue, the stories present Libya through the eyes of sixteen short story writers and one American diplomat, highlighting the historical legacy and influence of conquering civilizations and the dynamics of oil economy.
  712. Find this resource:
  713. Colla, Elliott. “Ibrahim al-Koni’s Atlas of the Sahara.” In Bridges across the Sahara: Social, Economic and Cultural Impact of the Trans-Sahara Trade during the 19th and 20th Centuries. Edited by Ali Abdullatif Ahmida, 187–195. Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars, 2009.
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  715. Comprehensive discussion of Libyan writer al-Koni’s social imaginary of the Sahara life world by the main translator of his novels into English. Includes titles of major works available in English translation.
  716. Find this resource:
  717. Libyanet.
  718. Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »
  719. Website contains a variety of music, poems, prose, pictures, and photographs by Libyan artists, past and present.
  720. Find this resource:
  721. Matar, Hisham. In the Country of Men. New York: Dial, 2006.
  722. Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »
  723. Set in 1979, portrays the repressive climate of the ongoing Libyan Revolution through the eyes of a nine-year-old.
  724. Find this resource:
  725. Matar, Hisham. Anatomy of a Disappearance: A Novel. New York: Dial, 2011.
  726. Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »
  727. Semiautobiographical novel about the repression of political dissidents in Libya.
  728. Find this resource:
  729. Qadhafi, Muammar. Escape to Hell and Other Stories. Montreal: Stanké, 1998.
  730. Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »
  731. Former Libyan leader’s foray into literary production, demonstrates his political and economic philosophy.
  732. Find this resource:
  733. The 2011 Libyan Revolution
  735. Given the historical legacy of anticolonial resistance, it is not surprising that the revolution that toppled Qadhafi erupted in Benghazi, the capital of Cyrenaica in eastern Libya. Many of the opposition and government websites that went up spontaneously during the 17 February 2011 uprising have now been taken down. A curatorial website that has remained operative, providing a video, commentary, and news archive of the Libyan uprising is Libyan Revolution Central. For a contrasting interpretation of recent events, one that is critical of the NATO intervention, presenting information from the former regime’s point of view, see Libyan Free Press. Among the professional sources that have consistently provided timely news accompanied by explanatory graphics and informed comment is the Qatari-based English-language network, Al Jazeera. The AllAfrica’s Libya website takes Libya out of the Middle East zone of influence, providing country-specific information within a pan-African context. A reliable source for online scholarly commentary is George Mason’s Maghreb page in the e-magazine Jadaliyya. Among the first published scholarly analyses of the 2011 Libyan Revolution is Brahimi 2011, which accounts for the forces as well as players that coordinated the revolutionary uprising.
  737. Al Jazeera.
  738. Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »
  739. English-language Arab news network that provides interactive maps, essays by noted academics, and current events analyses.
  740. Find this resource:
  741. AllAfrica: Libya.
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  743. Website devoted to current events, business, arts, conflict, environment, governance topics, and Libya’s regional implications for the African continent as covered in various African presses. Country-specific information can be accessed and researched according to listed topics.
  744. Find this resource:
  745. Brahimi, Alia. “Libya’s Revolution.” Journal of North African Studies 16.4 (December 2011): 605–624.
  746. DOI: 10.1080/13629387.2011.630880Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »
  747. Scholarly article that analyzes the causes and progress of Libya’s revolution.
  748. Find this resource:
  749. Jadaliyya: Maghreb.
  750. Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »
  751. Sponsored by George Mason University, the Maghreb page in the Internet magazine Jadaliyya presents informed essays pertinent to the region, arranged by country on current events topics with political, social, economic, and cultural implications.
  752. Find this resource:
  753. Libyan Free Press.
  754. Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »
  755. Presents a pro-Qadhafi “opposition” Libyan website. Useful for understanding the critical and controversial perspectives behind current issues.
  756. Find this resource:
  757. Libyan Revolution Central.
  758. Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »
  759. Produced by a group identified as the “Libyan Youth,” this site serves as a clearinghouse and archive for video footage, analysis, and blogs related to Libyan revolution.
  760. Find this resource:
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