by Mussie Tesfagiorgis G.


The greater part of Eritrea's modern history is characterized by conflicts that have severely damaged an economy based largely on subsistence agriculture. Economic woes have been exacerbated by the recent implementation of restrictive economic policies. Today, few private enterprises remain in Eritrea, as the one-party government looks to the military and party-owned businesses to boost development.

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Cover image for Eritrea

October 2010


Pages 424
Volumes 1
Size 7x10
Topics Geography and World Cultures/Countries and Regions

This authoritative overview serves as a comprehensive resource on Eritrea's history, politics, economy, society, and culture.

Located in eastern Africa, bordering the Red Sea between Djibouti and Sudan, Eritrea is a poor but developing East African country, the capital of which is Asmara. Formerly a province of Ethiopia, Eritrea became independent on May 24, 1993, following a 30-year struggle that culminated in a referendum vote for independence.

Written materials on most aspects of Eritrean history and culture are quite scarce. Eritrea fills that gap with an exhaustive, thematically organized overview. It examines Eritrean geography, the history of Eritrea since the ancient period, and the government, politics, economy, society, cultures, and people of the modern nation. Though based largely on the documentary record, the book also recognizes the value of oral history among the people of Eritrea and incorporates that history as well. Leading sources are quoted at length to provide analysis and perspective.


  • Numerous photographs and illustrations of types of vegetation and population distribution
  • Includes maps of Eritrea physiography, drainage, and transhumance paths
  • A glossary of local terms
  • An annotated bibliography


  • Provides comprehensive coverage of Eritrea's history, economy, cultures, and more
  • Offers the most diverse and exhaustive treatment of the nation now available
  • Shares the insights of an author who was born and raised in the country about which he writes
Author Info

Mussie Tesfagiorgis G., PhD, a researcher in African environmental and political history, was born in Eritrea where he completed his undergraduate studies in history. He completed his post-graduate studies at Hamburg University, Hamburg, Germany, and was awarded his doctorate in history from that university in 2007. His published works include A Fading Nature: Aspects of Environmental History of Eritrea (1800-1991). He has also published several other articles in journals and books.



"Despite Eritrea's complex history, Tesfagiorgis (Univ. of Winnipeg, Canada) succeeds in presenting the material
clearly in language that is accessible to general readers. In many respects, this work is similar to a specialized
encyclopedia. Though it is geared toward general readers, others, including academic librarians and lower-division
undergraduates, will find it to be a valuable reference tool. . . . Summing Up: Highly recommended."Choice

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