This second edition of the Historical Dictionary of Eritrea spans several millennia, starting with the discovery of some of the earliest known hominid remains and continuing on to Eritrea's early encounters with Christianity (4th century) and Islam (7th century). The main focus of this book, however, is on the formation of the modern nation-state under a succession of colonial powers, its 30-year war for independence, and its emergence in the 1990s as a new country. The book also maps the numerous conflicts Eritrea has been involved in since then with its neighbors and identifies the key players within the government and ruling party, as well as the externally based opposition.
This ready reference relates the history of Eritrea, from ancient times to the present, through a chronology, an introductory essay, a bibliography, and over 500 cross-referenced dictionary entries on significant persons, events, places, and organizations, as well as entries on politics, economy, society, and culture. This book is an excellent access point for students, researchers, and anyone wanting to know more about Eritrea.
Dan Connell —
Dan Connell is a distinguished lecturer in journalism and African politics at Simmons College. He is the author of Against All Odds: A Chronicle of the Eritrean Revolution, Eritrea: A Country Handbook, and Conversations with Eritrean Political Prisoners.
Tom Killion —
Tom Killion is an independent scholar and artist, who was a Fulbright scholar and lecturer at the University of Asmara in the 1990s.
Connell, Dan. Historical dictionary of Eritrea, by Dan Connell and Tom Killion. 2nd ed. Scarecrow, 2011. 644p bibl afp (Historical dictionaries of Africa, 114); ISBN 9780810859524. Reviewed in 2011may CHOICE.
This expanded second edition by Connell (Simmons College) and Killion (independent scholar) (1st ed., by T. Killion, 1998) covers Eritrean history and politics from 8000 BCE to the present, with a focus on the last 200 years of Italian colonization, the 30-year war for independence, and the emergence of Eritrea as a sovereign state in 1993. It features more than 500 cross-referenced entries on key actors (particularly government officials and leaders in the PFDJ ruling party, along with opposition groups), events, places, and organizations. The introductory essay and chronology provide a concise overview of Eritrean history, and the extensive bibliography, arranged by subject, directs serious researchers to important sources. As Eritrea is the only country to have successfully seceded from another African state and as its future for democratic governance remains uncertain, it will undoubtedly continue to be of interest to scholars and practitioners. A similar but older title, C. Prouty and E. Rosenfeld's Historical Dictionary of Ethiopia and Eritrea (2nd ed., CH, Mar'95, 32-3660), covers the history of Eritrea only while it was federated with Ethiopia from 1952 to 1991. Thus, this new dictionary serves as an invaluable research tool for anyone studying Eritrean history and politics and is one of the few reference works of its kind.
Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-level undergraduates and above. -- S. T. Durrant, Indiana University--Purdue University Fort Wayne