A Modern History of the Somali
Nation and State in the Horn of Africa

By I. M. Lewis

“Lewis writes authoritatively, magisterially, and often brilliantly.”

African Studies Review

“By far the most penetrating of the works on Somali history and contemporary events…. Lewis is probably the only foreign social scientist ever to have won acknowledgment, if not always approval, among the critically minded Somali intellectuals and politicians. I have never lectured on Somalia with Somalis present without being reminded by them to consult his works.”

Bernard Helander, Africa

“Somalia's most definitive history updated.”

Erving E. Beauregard, Africa Today

“The events described in this book are subjected to penetrating analysis, and the author's treatment of the apparent paradox of Islam combined with scientific socialism deserves particular attention, … The book also provides very valuable insights into the fragmentation of Somali nationalism caused by tribal loyalties…”

B.W. Andrzejewski, SOAS Bulletin

This latest edition of A Modern History of the Somali brings I. M. Lewis's definitive history up to date and shows the amazing continuity of Somali forms of social organization. Lewis's history portrays the ingeniousness with which the Somali way of life has been adapted to all forms of modernity.

I.M. Lewis is Emeritus Professor of Social Anthropology at the London School of Economics & Political Science.

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In Series

Eastern African Studies

Related Subjects

African History · African Studies · Eastern Africa



Retail price: $29.95, S.
Release date: Jan. 2003
368 pages · 5¼ × 8½ in.
Rights:World (exclusive in Americas, and Philippines) except British Commonwealth, Continental Europe, and United Kingdom


Release date: Mar. 2003
≅ 368 pages
Rights: World

Additional Praise for A Modern History of the Somali

“In their continuing struggle for freedom and independence from colonial rule the Somali people have confronted a situation that is without parallel elsewhere in Africa…. Thus, in contrast to the rest of Africa where states are struggling to become nations, teh Somali people represent a nation struggling to become a state…. I.M. Lewis brings unique and outstanding qualifications to the detailed narrative of these events.”

Frank J. Mahony, American Anthropologist