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Ethiopia: A New Political History (Pall Mall Library of African Affairs) Paperback – 1969

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 515 pages
  • Publisher: Pall Mall Press; 1st edition (1969)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0269163336
  • ISBN-13: 978-0269163333
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,692,781 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Bob Newman VINE VOICE on January 6, 2014
Format: Hardcover
In the 1950s and '60s, Praeger Publishers put out a huge number of titles to do with Communism and the harsh realities of life under the totalitarian version which had come to power in much of the world. They also published series on art and on various lesser known countries of the world. I have no idea how they picked their authors, but sometimes it seems that prestige outranked expertise. As a person liked and possibly even trusted by Haile Selassie, the last Ethiopian emperor, Richard Greenfield had to tread carefully as he wrote the political history of that empire where the emperor ruled absolutely.

Ethiopia was not defined for the vast portion of its history, by lines on maps. It was a civilization rather than a 'country' as we understand countries today--with flag, UN membership, airline, etc. Various fiefs and kingdoms rose and fell, constantly vying for supremacy. Not much is known about them, at least it is not much evident in this book. Ethiopian history as ETHIOPIAN history begins close to the 19th century. Greenfield details the struggles, the lives of the several emperors, and the ups and downs of countless minor characters. He loves to share the names of their relatives, their children, and maybe even their best friends. It is all a bit murky; overwhelming detail clouds your sky. The best part of the book is the story of the Italian invasion of 1935, Haile Selassie's reaction, and the British campaign to oust the fascist forces in 1941. After that, two decades of intrigue, ups and downs of innumerable characters. My advice, if you would like to know what Ethiopian politics were like, is to read Kapuscinski's "The Emperor". It is brief, only 162 pages compared to the 458 of this book, but it's an amazing work.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I couldn't find any word to express my excitement to have this book in my hand. This out of print book was very chip for the price.
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