MESA Book Awards
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
2019 Nikki Keddie Book Award Honorable Mention
Outstandingly original and fascinating study of how the trope of “Granada as lost paradise” shaped both Spanish colonial concepts of their claims to Morocco, and Moroccan nationalists’ concepts of resistance to colonial domination. In clear prose and drawing evidence from Spanish and Arabic archives, novels, memoirs, newspapers, and official decrees, the book shows the contradictory roles played by the "Granada as lost paradise" trope in different eras. These roles include the sanctioning of colonization of Morocco by Spain from the mid-19th to the mid-20th centuries, the use of Moroccan soldiers by the Franco regime in the Spanish civil war and the reliance on Islamic tradition to justify this mobilization, as well as the fortifying of the Moroccan anti-colonial movement. The book skillfully challenges binary views of the colonizer and the colonized, Europe and Africa, past and present.