Peasant revolution in Ethiopia : the Tigray People's Liberation Front, 1975-1991 /
John Young.
Cambridge, U.K. ; New York, NY, USA : Cambridge University Press, 1997.
xiv, 270 p. : maps ; 24 cm.
0521591988 (hc)
More Details
Cambridge, U.K. ; New York, NY, USA : Cambridge University Press, 1997.
0521591988 (hc)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. 248-265) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1998-04-01:
Based largely on interviews with peasants, this revised dissertation is the first chronicle of the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF). Started in 1975, TPLF liberated Tigray province from Ethiopia's military regime (Derg) in 1989 and broke the Derg's control of Ethiopia in 1991. TPLF's leadership came from the educated sons of rich peasants and lower-middle local nobility. TPLF mobilized Tigrayan peasants through astute policies: using schools and developing Tigrayan culture; gaining support from the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and Muslims; overcoming age-old fetters on the role of women; pursuing a reform program providing equitable distribution of land and carried out by the peasants; and efforts to combat lawlessness and establish effective rural administrations. TPLF succeeded because of the leadership's pragmatism, democratic participation in the movement, and refusal to allow a personality cult. By 1990 TPLF renounced Marxism-Leninism. Since 1991 TPLF has dominated Ethiopia's government, which, Young (political science, Addis Ababa Univ.) asserts, must institute a democratic state that recognizes the heterogeneity of Ethiopia's people. Fine endnotes; two maps. Upper-division undergraduates and above. E. E. Beauregard emeritus, University of Dayton
Review Quotes
"John Young has done a fine job presenting a most fascinating case." Stephen F. Burgess, Political Science Quarterly
"...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
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Choice, April 1998
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Description for Bookstore
This book chronicles the rise to power of the student-controlled Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) in the northern Ethiopian province of Tigray, who liberated the province from military control in 1989, and in an alliance with local peasants formed an ethnically based coalition, assumed state power in 1991.
Description for Library
Almost unnoticed, in the wake of the overthrow of Emperor Haile-Selassie, the coming to power of the military, and the ongoing independence struggle in Eritrea, a band of students launched an insurrection from the northern Ethiopian province of Tigray. Calling themselves the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF), they built close relations with Tigray's poverty-stricken peasants and on this basis liberated the province in 1989, and formed an ethnic-based coalition of opposition forces which assumed state power in 1991. This book chronicles that history and focuses in particular on the relationship of the revolutionaries with Ethiopia's peasants.
Main Description
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.
Table of Contents
Peasants and revolutions: theoretical directions
Historical and social background
Tigray on the eve of insurrection
Struggle for opposition ascendancy: 1975-1978
Challenges and advances: 1978-1985
Triumph: 1985-1991
TPLF and the peasants
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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