Using a great power-small power theoretical approach and advancing a supplier-recipient barganing model, Jeffery Lefebvre attempts to explain what the United States has paid for its relations with two weak and vulnerable arms recipients in the Horn of Africa.
Through massive documentation and extensive interviewing, Lefebvre sorts through the confusions and shifts of the United States’ post-World War II relations with Ethiopia and Somalia, two primary antagonists in the Horn of Africa. He consulted State Department, Pentagon, and AID officials, congressional staffers, current and former ambassadors, and Ethiopian and Somali government advisers.
The story of U.S. arms transfers to northeast Africa is tangled and complex. In 1953, 1960, and 1964-66, the United States entered into various arms provision deals with Ethiopia, spurred by the Soviet-sponsored buildup in the region. Policy changed in the 1970s: Nixon refused a large aid request in 1973, and in 1977 Carter ended Ethiopia’s military aid on human rights grounds and denied aid to Somalia during the 1977-78 Ogaden War. Reversing this policy, the Reagan administration extended military aid to Somalia despite its aggressive moves against Ethiopia. Changes in U.S. relations and the revolution in Somalia have altered the picture once more.
Jeffery Lefebvre concludes that U.S. diplomacy in northeast Africa has been overly influenced by a cold war mentality. In their obsession with countering Soviet pressure in the Third World, Washington decision makers exposed U.S. interests to unnecessary risks and given far too much for value received during four decades of vacillating and misguided foreign policy.
Arms for the Horn should interest all concerned with arms transfer issues and security studies, as well as specialist in Africa and the Middle East.
In March 1896 a well-disciplined and massive Ethiopian army did the unthinkable-it routed an invading Italian force and brought Italy's war of conquest in Africa to an end. In an age of relentless European expansion, Ethiopia had successfully defended its independence and cast doubt upon an unshakable certainty of the age-that sooner or later all Africans would fall under the rule of Europeans. This event opened a breach that would lead, in the aftermath of world war fifty years later, to the continent's painful struggle for freedom from colonial rule.Raymond Jonas offers the first comprehensive account of this singular episode in modern world history. The narrative is peopled by the ambitious and vain, the creative and the coarse, across Africa, Europe, and the Americas-personalities like Menelik, a biblically inspired provincial monarch who consolidated Ethiopia's throne; Taytu, his quick-witted and aggressive wife; and the Swiss engineer Alfred Ilg, the emperor's close advisor. The Ethiopians' brilliant gamesmanship and savvy public relations campaign helped roll back the Europeanization of Africa.Figures throughout the African diaspora immediately grasped the significance of Adwa, Menelik, and an independent Ethiopia. Writing deftly from a transnational perspective, Jonas puts Adwa in the context of manifest destiny and Jim Crow, signaling a challenge to the very concept of white dominance. By reopening seemingly settled questions of race and empire, the Battle of Adwa was thus a harbinger of the global, unsettled century about to unfold.
Born into a life of constant financial, physical, and moral threat, Meti Birabiro takes refuge in literature and the fantastic. Blue Daughter of the Red Sea is Birabiro’s poetic account of the harsh reality of her young life spread across three continents. Her voice is a fresh mélange of child and adult perspectives, at once brutally honest and wise beyond her years. Through her journey from Ethiopia to Italy and finally to the United States, we encounter Birabiro’s relatives, friends, and enemies—relationships so intense that these people become her vampires, devils, angels, and saints. These characterizations always lead her back to the truth, helping her to decipher what is fair and good, to understand what she must cherish and what she must rage against.
Emperor Haile Selassie was an iconic figure of the twentieth century, a progressive monarch who ruled Ethiopia from 1916 to 1974. This book, written by a former state official who served in a number of important positions in Selassie’s government, tells both the story of the emperor’s life and the story of modern Ethiopia.
After a struggle for the throne in 1916, the young Selassie emerged first as regent and then as supreme leader of Ethiopia. Over the course of his nearly six-decade rule, the emperor abolished slavery, introduced constitutional reform, and expanded educational opportunity. The Italian invasion of Ethiopia in the 1930s led to a five-year exile in England, from which he returned in time to lead his country through World War II. Selassie was also instrumental in the founding of the Organization of African Unity in 1963, but he fell short of the ultimate goal of a promised democracy in Ethiopia. The corruption that grew under his absolute rule, as well as his seeming indifference to the famine that gripped Ethiopia in the 1970s, led finally to his overthrow by the armed forces that he had created.
Haile Selassie was an enlightened monarch in many ways, but also a man with flaws like any other. This short biography is a sensitive portrayal of Selassie as both emperor and man, by one who knew him well.
. . . An engaging personal account of a public service career n the period leading to the 1974 revolution. It ...persuades and provides real insight into the genuine noblesse oblige of the first generation of technocrats drawn from the social elite of the post- war period.
-James McCann, Boston University
The Ethiopian popular revolution of 1974 ended a monarchy that claimed descent from King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, and brought to power a military government that created one of the largest and best-equipped armies in Africa. In his panoramic study of the Ethiopian army, Fantahun Ayele draws upon his unprecedented access to Ethiopian Ministry of Defense archives to study the institution that was able to repel the Somali invasion of 1977 and suppress internal uprisings, but collapsed in 1991 under the combined onslaught of armed insurgencies in Eritrea and Tigray. Besides military operations, The Ethiopian Army discusses tactical areas such as training, equipment, intelligence, and logistics, as well as grand strategic choices such as ending the 1953 Ethio-American Mutual Defense Agreement and signing a treaty of military assistance with the Soviet Union. The result sheds considerable light on the military developments that have shaped Ethiopia and the Horn in the twentieth century.
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.
Ethnic Federalism closely examines aspects of the Ethiopean case and asks why the use of territorial decentralism to accommodate ethnic differences has been generally unpopular in Africa, while it is growing in popularity in the West.
The book includes case studies of Nigerian and Indian federalism and suggests how Ethiopia might learn from both the failures and successes of these older federations. In the light of these broader issues and cases, it identifies the main challenges facing Ethiopia in the next few years, as it struggles to bring political practice into line with constitutional theory and thereby achieve a genuinely federal division of powers.
Malaria is an infectious disease like no other: it is a dynamic force of nature and Africa’s most deadly and debilitating malady. James C. McCann tells the story of malaria in human, narrative terms and explains the history and ecology of the disease through the science of landscape change. All malaria is local. Instead of examining the disease at global or continental scale, McCann investigates malaria’s adaptation and persistence in a single region, Ethiopia, over time and at several contrasting sites.
Malaria has evolved along with humankind and has adapted to even modern-day technological efforts to eradicate it or to control its movement. Insecticides, such as DDT, drug prophylaxis, development of experimental vaccines, and even molecular-level genetic manipulation have proven to be only temporary fixes. The failure of each stand-alone solution suggests the necessity of a comprehensive ecological understanding of malaria, its transmission, and its persistence, one that accepts its complexity and its local dynamism as fundamental features.
The story of this disease in Ethiopia includes heroes, heroines, witches, spirits—and a very clever insect—as well as the efforts of scientists in entomology, agroecology, parasitology, and epidemiology. Ethiopia is an ideal case for studying the historical human culture of illness, the dynamism of nature’s disease ecology, and its complexity within malaria.
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. Of importance to historians, political scientists, journalists, and Africanists alike, Bahru’s A History of Modern Ethiopia, now with additional material taking it up to the last decade, will be the preeminent overview of present-day Ethiopia.
How do ambitious young men grapple with an unemployment rate in urban Ethiopia hovering around fifty percent? Urban, educated, and unemployed young men have been the primary force behind the recent unrest and revolutions in North Africa and the Middle East. Daniel Mains' detailed and moving ethnographic study, Hope is Cut, examines young men's struggles to retain hope for the future in the midst of economic uncertainty and cultural globalization.
Through a close ethnographic examination of young men's day-to-day lives Hope is Cut explores the construction of optimism through activities like formal schooling, the consumption of international films, and the use of khat, a mild stimulant.
Mains also provides a consideration of social theories concerning space, time, and capitalism. Young men here experience unemployment as a problem of time—they often congregate on street corners, joking that the only change in their lives is the sun rising and setting. Mains addresses these factors and the importance of reciprocity and international migration as a means of overcoming the barriers to attaining aspirations.
Short-listed for the Fage & Oliver Prize for outstanding scholarly work published on Africa.
Finalist, African Studies Association Book Prize.
Finalist, ASA Bethwell A. Ogot Prize for best book in east African studies.
If modernism initially came to Africa through colonial contact, what does Ethiopia’s inimitable historical condition—its independence save for five years under Italian occupation—mean for its own modernist tradition? In Modernist Art in Ethiopia—the first book-length study of the topic—Elizabeth W. Giorgis recognizes that her home country’s supposed singularity, particularly as it pertains to its history from 1900 to the present, cannot be conceived outside the broader colonial legacy. She uses the evolution of modernist art in Ethiopia to open up the intellectual, cultural, and political histories of it in a pan-African context.
Giorgis explores the varied precedents of the country’s political and intellectual history to understand the ways in which the import and range of visual narratives were mediated across different moments, and to reveal the conditions that account for the extraordinary dynamism of the visual arts in Ethiopia. In locating its arguments at the intersection of visual culture and literary and performance studies, Modernist Art in Ethiopia details how innovations in visual art intersected with shifts in philosophical and ideological narratives of modernity. The result is profoundly innovative work—a bold intellectual, cultural, and political history of Ethiopia, with art as its centerpiece.
But today, along with those Ethiopians who have been recognized as Jews by the State of Israel, many who are called "Feres Mura," the descendants of Ethiopian Jews whose families converted to Christianity but have now reasserted their Jewish identity, still await full acceptance in Israel. Since the 1990s, they have sought homecoming through Israel's "Law of Return," but have been met with reticence and suspicion on a variety of fronts. One People, One Blood expertly documents this tenuous relationship and the challenges facing the Feres Mura.
Distilling more than ten years of ethnographic research, Don Seeman depicts the rich culture of the group, as well as their social and cultural vulnerability, and addresses the problems that arise when immigration officials, religious leaders, or academic scholars try to determine the legitimacy of Jewish identity or Jewish religious experience.
For more than two thousand years, Ethiopia’s ox-plow agricultural system was the most efficient and innovative in Africa, but has been afflicted in the recent past by a series of crises: famine, declining productivity, and losses in biodiversity. James C. McCann analyzes the last two hundred years of agricultural history in Ethiopia to determine whether the ox-plow agricultural system has adapted to population growth, new crops, and the challenges of a modern political economy based in urban centers.
This agricultural history is set in the context of the larger environmental and landscape history of Ethiopia, showing how farmers have integrated crops, tools, and labor with natural cycles of rainfall and soil fertility, as well as with the social vagaries of changing political systems. McCann traces characteristic features of Ethiopian farming, such as the single-tine scratch plow, which has retained a remarkably consistent design over two millennia, and a crop repertoire that is among the most genetically diverse in the world.
People of the Plow provides detailed documentation of Ethiopian agricultural practices since the early nineteenth century by examining travel narratives, early agricultural surveys, photographs and engravings, modern farming systems research, and the testimony of farmers themselves, collected during McCann’s five years of fieldwork. He then traces the ways those practices have evolved in the twentieth century in response to population growth, urban markets, and the presence of new technologies.
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.
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.
In 1986 The Southern Marches of Imperial Ethiopia, a cross-disciplinary collection edited by Don Donham and Wendy James, opened up the study of center/periphery relations in the Ethiopian empire until the fall of the monarchy in 1974. This new volume examines similar themes, taking the story forward through the major changes effected by the socialist regime from the revolution of 1974 to its overthrow in 1991, and then into the current period that has been marked by moves toward local democracy and political devolution.
Topics include the changing fortunes of new and historic towns and cities, the impact of the Mengistu regime’s policies of villagization and resettlement, local aspects of the struggle against Mengistu and its aftermath, and the fate of border regions. Special attention is given to developments since 1991: to new local institutions and forms of autonomy, the links between the international diasporas of Ethiopia and the fortunes of their home areas. The collection draws on the work of established scholars as well as a new generation of Ethiopian and international researchers in the disciplines of anthropology, political science, history, and geography.
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.
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