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War, famine, pestilence-and doctrinaire Marxist-Leninist dictatorship; these are the four horsemen of modern Ethiopia's particular apocalypse. They have combined with one another into a brew more poisonous even than the sum of its parts. Just how a people of such ancient culture and proud history, and of such intelligence and sophistication, could have come to this sad fate requires some words of explanation. That the name Ethiopia has, over the past two decades, become synonymous with starvation, civil war and man's massive inhumanity to his fellow man, is a source of deep pain to Ethiopians everywhere-to those in the growing Ethiopian diaspora as much as to those who remain within Ethiopia's borders-and of bewilderment and puzzlement to others. There must be a reason for it. This volume, the result of a recent symposium that included two very distinguished former high officials of the Mengistu regime, provides much of the answer.