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Historical Dictionary of Ethiopia (Historical Dictionaries of Africa) [Hardcover]

David H. Shinn , Thomas P. Ofcansky
1.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 29, 2004 0810849100 978-0810849105
Ethiopia is one of the world's oldest countries; its Rift Valley may be the location where the ancestors of humankind originated more than four million years ago. With a population of 67 million people today, it is the third most populous country on the African continent after Nigeria and Egypt. It is the source of 86 percent of the water reaching the Aswan Dam in Egypt, most of it carried by the amazing Blue Nile. Ethiopia offers major historical sites such as the pre-Christian palace at Yeha, the stele and tombs of the old Kingdom of Axum, and the rock-carved churches of Lalibela. For anyone interested in Ethiopia, this historical dictionary, through its individual and carefully cross-referenced entries, captures the importance and intrigue of this truly significant African nation.

Historical Dictionary of Ethiopia appeals to all levels of readers, providing entries for each of Ethiopia's 85 ethnic groups and covering a broad range of cultural, political, and economic topics. Readers interested in the cultural aspects or who are planning to visit Ethiopia will find a wealth of entries on art, literature, handicrafts, music, dance, bird life, geography, and historic tourist sites. Practitioners in government and non-governmental organizations will find entries on pressing economic, social, and political issues such as HIV/AIDS, female circumcision , debt, human rights, and the environment. The important historical role of missionaries and the combination of conflict and cooperation between Christians and Muslims in the region are also issues reviewed. And, finally, many of the entries highlight relations between Ethiopia and her neighbors-Eritrea, Somalia, Somaliland, Djibouti, Kenya, and Sudan.

In the bibliography, considerable emphasis has been placed on including both new and old materials covering all facets of Ethiopia, organized for easy identification by areas of major interest.

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Editorial Reviews

Review

This dictionary is a useful source of information on Ethiopia. It can be used alone for those who want basic questions answered on Ethiopia or as a resource that guides the way to other relevant sources. (Arba)

Ethiopia actually has suggested readings added at the end of some of the major articles, thus enormously increasing their value....Overall, the potential strength of volumes in this series, that they provide fairly regularly revised coverage for many countries where up-to-date reference material in English is lacking or out-of-date, needs to be recognised. (African Research & Documentation)

Recommended. All collections. (Choice)

About the Author

David Shinn served in the American Foreign Service for 37 years, many of them dealing with the Horn of Africa. He was the U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia from 1996-99.

Thomas Ofcansky has held a number of academic and government positions and is currently with the State Department. He has published numerous books and articles about East Africa, including Paradise Lost: A History of Game Preservation in East Africa. He has traveled widely throughout East Africa.

Product Details

  • Series: Historical Dictionaries of Africa (Book 91)
  • Hardcover: 696 pages
  • Publisher: Scarecrow Press (March 29, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810849100
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810849105
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 9.1 x 6.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 1.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,720,213 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible February 20, 2012
By gwaan
Format:Hardcover
This Historical Dictionary is a joke.

Given the enormous amount of information regarding Ethiopian history, and the exhaustive Dictionaries of Ethiopian Biography produced by the Institute of Ethiopian Studies, David H. Shinn and Thomas P. Ofcansky's dictionary stands out as a poor, almost lazy attempt at producing a Historical reference book.

The entries in their dictionary are superficial to the very least, with extremely little information. The actual selection of entries is simply ridiculously short.

Now, if this book was worth $5, i'd get it. But i qualify this book as a true SCAM, given the pretensious $60 something price tag.

Believe me when i say all the skimpy, light information in this dictionary can be found in greater abundance and quality on wikipedia. In fact, the amount of entries regarding Ethiopian history on wikipedia is admirable, and in comparison this "golden priced" dictionary stands out as a cheeky waste of paper.

I'd love to give an Ehiopian history work a solid review, but this book simply fails miserably at anything else than emptying your pocket. Truly awful.

One note of thanks is deserved for Amazon, who kindly accepted my return and reinbursed the cost.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Nice reference material, but not exhaustive January 3, 2007
Format:Hardcover
I purchased this book to hopefully use as a research reference, but it has primarily become a nice book to have in my library. The dictionary section is useful as a quick reference to general information, but doesn't have quite everything that I expected. The bibliography is lacking as well, particularly in recent scholarly literature. The book has a beautiful cover, but for the price it's better to just use it at a library if necessary.
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