BOOKS: History And Culture
A History of Ethiopia
Harold G. Marcus

This book attempts to cover the entire history of Ethiopia from prehistoric times to the fall of the Mengistu government in 1991. 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.

Wax and Gold: Tradition and Innovation in Ethiopian Culture
Donald N. Levine

Levine's pioneering work, Wax and Gold, has become an Ethiopian classic. The very concept of Wax and Gold has taken a life of its own: it figures at once in our understanding of Ethiopia's pre-modern culture and in our coming to grips with Ethiopia's reception of modernity.

Greater Ethiopia: The Evolution of a Multiethnic Society
Donald N. Levine

Greater Ethiopia combines history, anthropology, and sociology to answer two major questions. Why did Ethiopia remain independent under the onslaught of European expansionism while other African political entities were colonized? And why must Ethiopia be considered a single cultural region despite its political, religious, and linguistic diversity? Donald Levine's interdisciplinary study makes a substantial contribution both to Ethiopian interpretive history and to sociological analysis. In his new preface, Levine examines Ethiopia since the overthrow of the monarchy in the 1970s.

Sign and the Seal: The Quest for the Lost Ark of the Covenant
Graham Hancock

English journalist Hancock retells the circumstances and thoughts that led to his discovery that the Lost Ark of the Covenant really exists. This book is a lesson on the history of the ancient Israelites and of the Biblical Ark, a history of Ethiopia, a history of the mysterious Knights Templar, and a story of Gothic architecture and mediaeval literature. This book is also available in Spanish with the title La Busqueda del Santo Grial.

The History of Ethiopian Immigrants and Refugees in America, 1900-2000
Solomon Addis Getahun

Ethiopians form the third largest post-1960 African immigrant in the U.S. Over the years, their migratory patterns have changed in response to changes in Ethiopian and American diplomatic relationships. The Ethiopian immigrants also vary among themselves depending on whether they were granted asylum, are refugees, or benefit from the Diversity Visa lottery winners. Getahun studies the context of the immigrants arrival, their patterns of settlement, and their adjustment in the U.S.

The Ethiopians: A History
Richard Pankhurst

The book opens with a review of Ethiopian prehistory, showing how the Ethiopian section of the African Rift Valley has come to be seen as the "cradle of humanity".

Ryszard Kapuscinski

Haile Selassie, His Most Puissant Majesty and Distinguished Highness the Emperor of Ethiopia, enjoyed a 44-year reign until his own army gave him the boot in 1974. In the days following the coup, the Polish journalist Ryszard Kapuscinski traveled to Ethiopia and sought out members of the imperial court for interviews.

Barefoot emperor The Barefoot Emperor: An Ethiopian Tragedy
Philip Marsden

In 1863, a young Irish adventurer named Laurence Kerans found his way to the court of Tewodros II, the ruler of Abyssinia, better known in Victorian Britain as “mad king Theodore”. Kerans carried with him a gift: a carpet depicting a European hunter vanquishing a lion. He hoped this offering would win over the Christian emperor. But Tewodros perceived it as an affront: to his eyes the carpet showed himself, the lion, being conquered. He had the Irishman clapped in chains and cast into prison.Philip Marsden's compelling account of these extraordinary events is a lovingly researched book drawn from both Abyssinian and British sources. As such, The Barefoot Emperor is a balanced, full-bodied account. But Marsden, an expert on Ethiopia, is also a gifted storyteller and his narrative has pace and, above all, suspense.

Golden Legends: Images of Abyssinia, Samuel Johnson to Bob Marley
W. B. Carnochan

From the eighteenth century to the present, travellers, explorers, journalists, imaginative writers like Samuel Johnson, and legendary reggae musician Bob Marley have shared a fascination with Abyssinia. So did even earlier writers and mapmakers, who thought Abyssinia was the land of the mythical (and fabulously rich) Christian ruler, Prester John. The principal subject of this book is the allure of the exotic, as represented by Abyssinia, to the British imagination. In addition to Johnson and Marley, some others included are the eighteenth-century Scot James Bruce, nineteenth-century explorer Richard Burton, author Evelyn Waugh, Wilfred Thesiger (best known of twentieth-century British explorers), Sylvia Pankhurst (crusading journalist and daughter of the suffragist Emmeline Pankhurst), and the contemporary Irish traveller Dervla Murphy. The author also considers the beginnings of anthropology and the variations of quest narrative in modern travel writing.

Barefoot Runner: The Life of Marathon Champion Abebe Bikila
Paul Rambali

Abebe Bikila, a soldier in the imperial guard of Ethiopia's Haile Selassie, wasn't just the first African athlete to win a gold medal in Olympic competition. He won the marathon in the 1960 games while running barefoot, then defied odds to win again in Tokyo four years later. Between the two victories, however, he nearly faced execution after being used as a pawn by leaders of an unsuccessful coup against Selassie. His life has all the makings of a compelling story—and despite being billed as a biography, Rambali's account takes a highly novelistic approach, imagining the inner thoughts of Bikila (1932–1973) and other figures in every scene.

Bikila: Ethiopia's Barefoot Olympian
Tim Judah

On September 10, 1960, Abebe Bikila, an Ethiopian, stunned the world when he won the Rome Olympic marathon running barefoot. He was the first black African to win a gold medal at the Olympics and overnight became a sporting hero, an African hero, and, for many, the first black African they had ever heard of. Bikila was a man of his times—a symbol of hope in the new Africa. Now, for the first time, his true story is told. Central to that tale is the extraordinary life of another man—the Swede Onni Niskanen, Bikila's trainer, a soldier and an adventurer. Together they took the sporting world by storm.Although feted as a hero on his return to Addis Ababa, the celebrations didn't last and Bikila was almost killed during Emperor Haile Selassie's coup shortly after his return. His life spiralled into booze, girls, and cars until finally he was paralyzed in a car crash. The great athlete, however, forged through, and Bikila won a medal in the first Paraplegic Olympics for archery.

Prayers from the East: Traditions of Eastern Christianity
Richard Marsh

This rich anthology offers new insight into an ancient form of Christianity still little understood in the West. An introduction to the rich diversity of the six 'Ancient and Oriental Orthodox' churches—Egyptian Copts, Armenians, Syrians, Indian Malankara, Ethiopian, and Eritrean—through their distinctive tradition of prayer and worship, it provides both a survey of the history and theology of these Eastern Orthodox traditions as well as an anthology of their personal prayers, blessings, and liturgical prayers. The collection highlights the distinctiveness of Eastern Christian spirituality along with its connections to Western theology and worship.

Ancient Churches of Ethiopia
David W. Phillipson

The kings of Aksum formally became Christian during the second quarter of the 4th century, making Ethiopia the second country in the world (after Armenia) officially to adopt the new faith. This landmark book is the first to integrate historical, archaeological, and art-historical evidence to provide a comprehensive account of Ethiopian Christian civilization and its churches—both built and rock-hewn—from the Aksumite period to the 13th century.

The World of Girls and Boys in Rural and Urban Ethiopia
Eva Poluha

This collection of essays is about the lives, ideas and modes of interaction of children in Ethiopia, against the background that in-depth knowledge of perceptions of cultural values and practices regarding children would contribute to improved work with them and to the promotion of their rights as children. The study is supported by Save the Children Sweden and Norway, and the essays are a collaboration between those bodies and the Department of Social Anthropology at Addis Ababa University. Some essays are based on Master theses from the Department, and others on fieldwork. Seminars and meetings formed part of the research with and about children. The editor provides a theoretical, methodological and ethical aspects overview, and makes proposals on possible new themes. The five other contributors cover Conceptualizations of Children and Childhood: The Case of Kolfe and Semen Mazegaja, Addis Ababa; Growing up in Town and in the Countryside in Amhara Society; Continuity and Change in the Lives or Urban and Rural Children: The Case of Two Schools in SNNPR; Conceptualizations of Children and Childhood in Bishoftu, Oromia; and Children in Ethiopian Media and School Textbooks.

Ethiopian costumes
Jill Last