This book is the most comprehensive account of the Ethiopian revolution currently available, dealing with the entire span of the revolutionary government's life. Particular emphasis is placed on effectively isolating and articulating the causes and outcomes of the revolution. The author traces the revolution's roots in the weaknesses of the autocratic regime of Haile Selassie, examines the formative years of the revolution in the mid-seventies, when the ideology of scientific socialism was espoused by the ruling military council, and finally charts the consolidation of Mengistu Haile Miriam's power from 1977 to the adoption of a new constitution in 1987. In examining these events, Dr Tiruneh makes extensive use of primary sources written in the national official language. He is also the first Ethiopian nation to write a book on this subject. This book is thus a unique account of a fascinating period, capturing the mood of the revolution as never before, yet firmly grounded in scholarship.
"This outstanding book is the most authoritative account to date of Ethiopia's epic transformation from the feudal monarchy of Haile Selassie to the Stalinist dictatorship of Mengistu Haile-Mariam." Foreign Affairs "The book is remarkable in that it relies heavily on a large number of primary sources written either in Amharic or other indigenous languages of Ethiopia. These include not only government documents but also materials from various political organizations that either collaborated with or opposed the Marxist-Leninist regime of Mengistu Haile Mariam. Tiruneh writes from the perspective of a well-studied scholar who has experienced firsthand the intellectual evolution of the Ethiopian Left leading up to the revolution...Tiruneh's book is must reading for anyone who wants to fill in some critical gaps in their understanding of the process of Ethiopia's first revolution." Edmond Keller, American Historical Review "The strength of Andargachew's work is in his defining of the political positions of the various factions (or movements) with in the revolution, based largely upon their official newspapers and documents. He does an excellent job of expressing the various nuances, and demonstrating how seemingly minor differences were in fact major points of contention, which helps explain much of the political infighting and violence." African Studies Review