The Ethiopian Revolution

Mythology and History

by Paul B. Henze


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This paper was originally presented at the Fifth Michigan State University Conference of Northeast African Studies, "Peace and Stability in the Horn of Africa," in April 1989. In it, the author, who has studied Horn of Africa affairs for more than 25 years as a U.S. government official and scholar, refutes 12 common myths about the Ethiopian revolution. He covers such topics as whether the oppressiveness of Haile Selassie's feudal regime and peasant discontent brought on the revolution, evidence of Soviet involvement, and the role of the United States. He also challenges both Ethiopian and foreign scholars to analyze Ethiopia's prerevolutionary history and revolutionary experience in an effort to repair some of the damage that Marxism-Leninism has done to that country during the past decade.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

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