A History of Ethiopia

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In this readable and concise history of Ethiopia, Harold Marcus surveys the evolution of the oldest African nation from prehistory to the present. Based on a thorough reading of post-World War II scholarship, Marcus demonstrates that there is more to Ethiopia's existence than the ambitions of any one group. While Ethiopia has from time to time separated into component parts, it has never disappeared as an idea and has always reappeared in fact. Marcus concludes that now, as in the past, geography, economics, and culture will, in the end, prevail in uniting Ethiopia's diverse peoples against the forces of ethnic and religious factionalization.
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Editorial Reviews

Gebru Tareke
With remarkable precision and a sensible balance, Marcus has described the multiple and often contradictory and intersecting forces that have molded Ethiopia's rugged history. In his ambitious attempt to give a comprehensive account, he has paid considerable attention to broader social, economic, and cultural developments... Marcus has given us a concise yet complete overview of Ethiopia's history.
Christopher Clapham
That a country with Ethiopia's historical record should have been so neglected is astonishing, and Harold Marcus is to be congratulated on taking up the challenge...this is a valuable contribution to Ethiopian historiography, which provides a useful and much-needed overview of current knowledge.
Library Journal
Marcus (history, Michigan State Univ.) has authored several books on Ethiopia, most recently Haile Selassie: The Formative Years 1892-1936 (Univ. of California Pr., 1986). This one, which was eight years in the writing, is his most ambitious because it attempts to cover the entire history of Ethiopia from prehistoric times to the fall of the Mengistu government in 1991, although all but the first 80 pages deal with Ethiopia since its reunification under Menelik in 1889. Marcus views Ethiopian history as a series of cyclical expansions from its component parts to empire and back again; he argues that the idea of the greater Ethiopian nation will always cause the state to reunify despite its current disintegration. Whether or not one agrees with his thesis, this book is such a readable and up-to-date overview of a long and complex history that it is recommended for both academic and large public libraries.-Paul H. Thomas, Hoover Inst. Lib., Stanford, Cal.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520202474
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 10/30/1995
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Pages: 277
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.13 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Harold G. Marcus is Professor of History and African Studies at Michigan State University. He is the author of Haile Sellassie I: The Formative Years, 1892-1936 (California, 1986), Ethiopia, Great Britain, and the United States, 1941-1974: The Politics of Empire (California, 1983) and The Life and Times of Menelik II: Ethiopia 1844-1916 (1975).

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Table of Contents

List of Photographs
Preface to the 1994 Edition
1 Beginnings, to 1270 1
2 The Golden Age of the Solomonic Dynasty, to 1500 17
3 The Decline of the Solomonic Dynasty, to 1796 30
4 Political and Economic Transformations, to 1855 48
5 Imperial Resurrection, to 1877 63
6 Imperial Consolidation, to 1889 77
7 The Defeat of European Imperialism, to 1897 91
8 Menilek's State, to 1916 104
9 Ras Tafari, to 1930 116
10 Haile Sellassie, to 1936 130
11 Haile Sellassie, to 1955 147
12 Haile Sellassie, to 1973 164
13 The Revolution, to 1977 181
14 The Failure of the Revolution, to 1991 202
15 The New Rulers, to 1995 221
16 Peace and War, to 2000 246
Epilogue 265
Maps 269
Glossary 279
Select Bibliography 285
Index 299
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