An impressive debut,
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This review is from: Surrender or Starve: Travels in Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia, and Eritrea (Vintage Departures) (Kindle Edition)As someone who has been a fan of Kaplan's work for sometime, it was a pleasure to finally read his first book, and a decent entry into the literary world it is.
Concerning mainly Ethiopia, and what would later become the separate country of Eritrea, we are given essentially a journey through history, as Kaplan recounts the long history of divisions in what was then Ethiopia, reaching back to Italian colonial intervention, up to the present, with the Soviet sponsored Dergue government.
What is revealed is quite a horrifying portrait, with hunger being used as a political tool by the Communist regime in Addis Ababa, and how conflict, political or ethnic, has taken the Horn of Africa into a nightmarish reality of Biblical scale.
Interesting insight is also contained with regard to Sudan, and the then conflict over Darfur. As someone who at first became familiar with Darfur in headlines starting from about 2003 onward, it was interesting to learn that this conflict is far from recent news, and was just as bad in the 1980s, however Western Media attention was elsewhere.
Despite being written in the 1980s, this book is still very much relevant, as it contains insight into the divisions, and factors exacerbating division, in this tumultuous region of the world.