By Bahru Zewde
In this exciting new study, Bahru Zewde, one of the foremost historians of modern Ethiopia, has constructed a collective biography of a remarkable group of men and women in a formative period of their country's history. Ethiopia's political independence at the end of the nineteenth century put this new African state in a position to determine its own levels of engagement with the West. Ethiopians went to study in universities around the world. They returned with the skills of their education acquired in Europe and America, and at home began to lay the foundations of a new literature and political philosophy. Pioneers of Change in Ethiopia describes the role of these men and women of ideas in the social and political transformation of the young nation and later in the administration of Haile Selassie.
Bahru Zewde is a senior lecturer in history at Addis Ababa University. More info →
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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.
The war between Eritrea and Ethiopia, which began in May 1998, took the world by surprise. During the war, both sides mobilized huge forces along their common borders and spent several hundred million dollars on military equipment. Outside observers found it difficult to evaluate the highly polarized official statements and proclamations issued by the two governments in conflict.
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.