Against All Odds: A Chronicle of the Eritrean Revolution

Front Cover
Red Sea Press, 1993 - History - 309 pages
Journalist Dan Connell weaves a tapestry of anecdotes, observations and analysis to recount how the Eritreans - fighting with captured weapons, uncommon courage, ingenuity and determination - defeated not one, but two Ethiopian armies to win their long-sought independence. After a commando attack in the besieged Eritrean capital triggers brutal reprisals, we travel behind the lines to meet the liberation fighters - engineers, doctors, teachers, flight attendants, auto mechanics, farmers and shepherds who make common cause not only to free their country but to recreate it. We encounter them in remote villages, clandestine camps and front-line trenches where they school their diverse fellow citizens - Muslims and Christians from nine ethnic groups - in the arts of grassroots democracy. Campaigns for land reform and women's equality strengthen, rather than divide, the nationalist movement. Connell takes us from Eritrea's near victory over Haile Selassie's U.S. backed army in the 1970s to the final rout of the Soviet-backed military junta that later ruled Ethiopia. During the sharply escalated combat, more than a million people are displaced. Then drought and famine ravage the country. Connell shows how international aid brings temporary relief but fails to address the causes of the disaster. In the 1980s the Eritreans recast the left politics with which they, like most 1960s movements, began. The result, Connell shows, is a unique fusion of nationalist and democratic values. Newly independent in 1993, the Eritreans embark upon the next phase of their bold social experiment - one that bears watching closely by all those animated by egalitarian values and commitments to social justice.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


On the Road to Eritrea
Cities Towns
Inside Asmara

25 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Bibliographic information