A ground-breaking series that has redefined a region, the Eastern African Studies Series takes in a broad sweep of the continent from Ethiopia and the Red Sea to Mozambique. The EAS is both multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary. It includes studies of distinction that contribute to academic debates, general regional and country surveys, and multi-authored collections on key topics.

An outlet for first-time authors as well as a showcase for established scholars, EAS has presented major new works on Mau Mau, the nature of the colonial state, social history and social life, religion and politics, conflict and reconstruction, environmental history, and poverty and development.

All books in the series are available in paperback editions.

Being Maasai · Ethnicity and Identity In East Africa

Edited by Thomas Spear and Richard Waller

Everyone “knows” the Maasai as proud pastoralists who once dominated the Rift Valley from northern Kenya to central Tanzania. But many people who identity themselves as Maasai, or who speak Maa, are not pastoralist at all, but farmers and hunters. Over time many different people have “become” something else. And what it means to be Maasai has changed radically over the past several centuries and is still changing today.




War in Pre-Colonial Eastern Africa · The Patterns and Meanings of State-Level Conflict in the 19th Century

By Richard Reid


Cultivating Success in Uganda · Kigezi Farmers and Colonial Policies

By Grace Carswell

Kigezi, a district in southwestern Uganda, is exceptional in many ways. In contrast to many other parts of the colonial world, this district did not adopt cash crops. Soil conservation practices were successfully adopted, and the region maintained a remarkably developed and individualized land market from the early colonial period. Grace Carswell presents a comprehensive study of livelihoods in Kigezi.



Ethnic Federalism · The Ethiopian Experience in Comparative Perspective

Edited by David Turton

Since 1991, Ethiopia has gone further than any other country in using ethnicity as the fundamental organizing principle of a federal system of government. And yet this pioneering experiment in “ethnic federalism” has been largely ignored in the growing literature on democratization and ethnicity in Africa and on the accommodation of ethnic diversity in democratic states. Ethnic Federalism brings a much-needed comparative dimension to the discussion of this experiment in Ethiopia.


Crisis and Decline in Bunyoro · Population & Environment in Western Uganda 1860–1955

By Shane Doyle

One of the first studies of the political ecology of a major African kingdom, Crisis and Decline in Bunyoro focuses on the interplay between levels of environmental activity within a highly stratified society.



Conventional history assumes that the rise of the steamship trade killed off the Indian Ocean dhow trade in the twentieth century. Erik Gilbert argues that the dhow economy played a major role in shaping the economic and social life of colonial Zanzibar. Dhows, and the regional trade they fostered, allowed a class of indigenous entrepreneurs to thrive in Zanzibar.



Black Poachers, White Hunters · A Social History of Hunting in Colonial Kenya

By Edward I. Steinhart

Black Poachers, White Hunters traces the history of hunting in Kenya in the colonial era, describing the British attempt to impose the practices and values of nineteenth-century European aristocratic hunts followed, ultimately, by claims over African wildlife by conservationists.


A History of the Excluded · Making Family a Refuge from State in Twentieth-Century Tanzania

By James L. Giblin

The twentieth-century history of Njombe, the Southern Highlands district of Tanzania, can aptly be summed up as exclusion within incorporation. Njombe was marginalized even as it was incorporated into the colonial economy. Njombe’s people came to see themselves as excluded from agricultural markets, access to medical services, schooling—in short, from all opportunity to escape the impoverishing trap of migrant labor.



Leaf of Allah · Khat & Agricultural Transformation in Harerge, Ethiopia, 1875–1991

By Ezekiel Gebissa


Mau Mau and Nationhood · Arms, Authority, and Narration

Edited by E. S. Atieno Odhiambo and John Lonsdale

Fifty years after the declaration of the state of emergency, Mau Mau still excites argument and controversy, not least in Kenya itself. Mau Mau and Nationhood is a collection of essays providing the most recent thinking on the uprising and its aftermath. The work of well-established scholars as well as of young researchers with fresh perspectives, Mau Mau and Nationhood achieves a multilayered analysis of a subject of enduring interest.


Political Power in Pre-Colonial Buganda · Economy, Society, and Warfare in the Nineteenth Century

By Richard Reid

Blessed with fertile and well-watered soil, East Africa's kingdom of Buganda supported a relatively dense population and became a major regional power by the mid-nineteenth century. This complex and fascinating state has also long been in need of a thorough study that cuts through the image of autocracy and military might.


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

By I. M. Lewis

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.


Potent Brews · A Social History of Alcohol in East Africa, 1850–1999

By Justin Willis



Southern Marches of Imperial Ethiopia · Essays in History and Social Anthropology

Edited by Donald L. Donham and Wendy James

This pioneering book, first published to wide acclaim in 1986, traces the way the Ethiopian center and the peripheral regions of the country affected each other. It looks specifically at the expansion of the highland Ethiopian state into the western and southern lowlands from the 1890s up to 1974.


Governance everywhere is concerned with spatial relationships. Modern states “map” local communities, making them legible for the purposes of control. Ethiopia has gone through several stages of “mapping” in its imperial, revolutionary, and postrevolutionary phases.


Bounded by Sudan to the west and north, Kenya to the south, Somalia to the southeast, and Eritrea and Djibouti to the northeast, Ethiopia is a pivotal country in the geopolitics of the region. Yet it is important to understand this ancient and often splintered country in its own right. In A History of Modern Ethiopia, Bahru Zewde, one of Ethiopia's leading historians, provides a compact and comprehensive history of his country, particularly the last two centuries.


From Guerrillas to Government · The Eritrean People's Liberation Front

By David Pool

In 1991 the Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF) took over Asmara and completed the liberation of Eritrea; formal independence came two years later after a referendum in May 1993. It was the climax of a thirty-year struggle, though the EPLF itself was formed only in the early 1970s. From the beginning, Eritrean nationalism was divided. Ethiopia's appeal to a joint Christian imperial past alienated the Muslim pastoral lowland people in the areas where Eritrean nationalism first appeared.



Pastimes and Politics · Culture, Community, and Identity in Post-Abolition Urban Zanzibar, 1890–1945

By Laura Fair





Revolution and Religion in Ethiopia · The Growth and Persecution of the Mekane Yesus Church, 1974–85

By Øyvind M. Eide

Studies of the 1974 Ethiopian revolution have hitherto almost completely ignored religion, in spite of the commitment of a great majority of Ethiopian people to one or another religious tradition. Eide traces the journey from support for the revolution by the church leaders and local members to their suspected alliance with opposition forces.