Tareke Examines Ethiopian Military History – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Tareke Examines Ethiopian Military History

Professor of History Gebru Tareke's book, “Comrades against Comrades: A Military History of Ethiopian Revolution” recently was accepted for publication by Yale University Press.

The book, scheduled for publication in Spring 2009, is a continuation of his first, “Ethiopia: Power and Protest. Peasant Revolts in the 20th Century,” published by Cambridge University Press in 1991. While the first book focuses on social movements in Ethiopia up to the early 1970s, his second book begins in 1974 and establishes a correlation between revolutionary politics and military warfare.

His work provides a history and study of the Ethiopian civil wars, as it follows the pivotal battles between the soldiers and the insurgents that began in 1975. This warfare involved two Marxist/Leninist groups and was played out in what Tareke describes as “one of the most backward countries.”

The book stems from Tareke's 1994 research, in which the bulk of his study is based on Ethiopian official archives, and he remains the first and only outside person to have access to these informative documents. Tareke explains that he was given grants from the McArthur Foundation and the Social Sciences Research Council to conduct research on the topic.

After submitting the book in September to Yale University Press, Tareke says it was then sent off to experts and “received highly favorable reviews,” allowing it to be accepted last month. “Comrades against Comrades” provides an original and extensive account of Ethiopian history and guerrilla warfare. The book is expected to be widely received and will be considered at the top of the historical literature on the Horn of Africa. Tareke will spend the 2008-09 academic year in Ethiopia researching for his new project.

Tareke joined the Hobart and William Smith faculty in 1978. He holds a Ph.D. from Syracuse University, an M.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a B.A. from Addis Ababa University.