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The Battle of Adwa: African Victory in the Age of Empire

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  45 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
In March 1896 a well-disciplined and massive Ethiopian army did the unthinkable-it routed an invading Italian force and brought Italy's war of conquest in Africa to an end. In an age of relentless European expansion, Ethiopia had successfully defended its independence and cast doubt upon an unshakable certainty of the age-that sooner or later all Africans would fall under ...more
Hardcover, 413 pages
Published November 15th 2011 by Belknap Press
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'Aussie Rick'
Sep 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-military
An excellent account of the Ethiopian victory by native forces under the command of Emperor Menelik over the Italian forces at Adwa in 1896. The author provides lots of interesting details on how the Italians came to be in Ethiopia and how natives forces managed to defeat a modern European army on the field of combat. For the first time in Africa's history a native force had won a war against an occupying European country.

At times the author diverges from his narrative with little forays into i
Christopher Saunders
Nov 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Concise, readable account of Imperial Europe's greatest African defeat: Italy's disastrous invasion of Ethiopia in 1896. Jonas paints the battle as presaging the end of the Scramble for Africa (perhaps too long-term) and provided a sense of pride and nationalism to Africans everywhere (easier to establish). It's a well-written, relatively impartial account, which does a great job of showing the battle's effects on both the participants and the international stage. Beyond its military reprecussio ...more
Aisha Amen
Mar 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Supreme Book!
Aug 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
The 1896 battle of Adwa; the author persuasively argues, marked a turning point as significant as the Battle of Tsushima a decade later. The decisive defeat of the Italian invasion force by the Abyssinian Emperor Menelik's army was a result of Italian arrogance and incompetence and superior Ethiophian strategy and political aptitude.

Professor Janus provides an unusual - but very refreshing - approach, where the strictly military aspects are put in their proper place ( small) compared to an under
Jeff Schauer
Apr 18, 2014 rated it liked it
This was a very thorough and well-written account of the events leading up to and following the battle at Adwa. The book takes narrative form, and was at its most interesting and novel when discussing the efforts of the Ethiopian monarchy to control the narrative surrounding its interactions with Italy, and to present itself effectively to Europeans. The most interesting-sounding element of the argument--Jonas' claim that the battle was not aberrant, but rather somehow indicative of some trend-- ...more
May 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Thorough account of a significant military battle in 1896.

When the Italians were sent packing, a few of them returned castrated. That part of the book is explained on Disruptive Dissertation.
Tim Pattison
Nov 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Pages 200-300 are the very best of narrative history. The battle itself comes to life on the pages. The rest of the book is nearly as good and the contextualisation of the battle with other events of the time is helpful. The end of the book ties up some of the mythologies surrounding Adwa within the battle and aftermath.
Betelhem   is reading all about it
As Ethiopian I thought this book told the Battle of Adwa in a very objective, insightful matter. I love it!
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