In the wake of the overthrow of the Haile-Selassie regime in Ethiopia in 1974 and the coming to power of the military, a number of opposition forces launched insurrections. But only one movement, the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) triumphed, liberating Tigray in 1989, and in an ethnic-based coalition which it dominated, assuming state power in 1991. This is the first chronicle of the history of that struggle, and it is based largely on interviews with peasants who formed the core of the Tigrayan revolution and the TPLF leadership. It provides the necessary background to understanding post-1991 political developments in Ethiopia. It also offers an explanation of peasant-based revolution that contrasts with contemporary approaches by Marxists, Skocpol, and in particular the works of Wolf, Paige, and Scott, all of whom largely ignore the political considerations and the role of the revolutionary party, which Dr Young identifies as a critical element in his study.
"...interesting and stimulating...Peasant Revolution is the first extended and theoretically anchored study that seeks to explore the historical, social, and political forces that led to the birth, growth, and victory of the Tigray People's Liberation Front, and it is a considerable achievement...a significant contribution to peasant studies." International Journal of African Historical Studies "John Young has done a fine job presenting a most fascinating case." Stephen F. Burgess, Political Science Quarterly