IN MOROCCO by Faith Mellen Willcox


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Mrs. Willcox made three trips to Morocco in 1965-66 with her husband, a historian, and, avoiding ""Hiltonizing and homogenizing"" tours, travelled in a Simca all through even frightening terrain. She has written an admirable book -- intelligent, receptive, visually communicative and politically aware. In Morocco, contrasts are everywhere: minarets and an occasional skyscraper; business suits and djellabas. From Casablanca to Rabat to the Bled (the boondocks with a shiftless, deadened spirit), from Tangier just saved ""from the fate of a Gomorrha passe"" to Fez both old and new, or Marrakesh, the most alluring and raffish of all Morocco's cities, she takes you to much more than the Kasbah or even the mellah, the Jewish ghetto. She also comments on many aspects of social, political and cultural life: the indispensable and expensive cigarette or cup of tea; the indigence -- ""an empty sack cannot stand upright""; the history of an ancient country only ten years old which carries ""its past on its back""; its modernization and politicization unprepared by the exclusionary tactics of the French who nevertheless did leave a basis for today's physical unity. Occasional personal experiences such as an evening with a Peace Corps couple or the purchase of a ""Picasso Berbere"" rug keep the reader in touch. Even if you never go, you will have been there.

Pub Date: April 21st, 1971
Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich