King of Kings : The Triumph and Tragedy of Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia
Overview - Haile Selassie I, the last emperor of Ethiopia, was as brilliant as he was formidable. An early proponent of African unity and independence who claimed to be a descendant of King Solomon, he fought with the Allies against the Axis powers during World War II and was a messianic figure for the Jamaican Rastafarians. Read more...
More About King of Kings by Asfa-wossen Asserate; Peter Lewis; Thomas Pakenham
Haile Selassie I, the last emperor of Ethiopia, was as brilliant as he was formidable. An early proponent of African unity and independence who claimed to be a descendant of King Solomon, he fought with the Allies against the Axis powers during World War II and was a messianic figure for the Jamaican Rastafarians. But the final years of his empire saw turmoil and revolution, and he was ultimately overthrown and assassinated in a communist coup.
Written by Asfa-Wossen Asserate, Haile Selassie's grandnephew, this is the first major biography of this final "king of kings." Asserate, who spent his childhood and adolescence in Ethiopia before fleeing the revolution of 1974, knew Selassie personally and gained intimate insights into life at the imperial court. Introducing him as a reformer and an autocrat whose personal history--with all of its upheavals, promises, and horrors--reflects in many ways the history of the twentieth century itself, Asserate uses his own experiences and painstaking research in family and public archives to achieve a colorful and even-handed portrait of the emperor.
- ISBN-13: 9781910376140
- ISBN-10: 1910376140
- Publisher: Haus Pub.
- Publish Date: December 2015
- Page Count: 336
- Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
Books > Biography & Autobiography > Historical - General
Publishers Weekly Reviews
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Offering his perspective as a grandnephew of Haile Selassie (18921975), Asserate crafts a biography of the late Ethiopian emperor that combines personal moments with a reasonably objective view of the man. Asserate claims to have written neither a scholarly nor a definitive biography, but he does present a multifaceted picture of the so-called Father of Africa, drawing from sources including his own memories, Selassies memoirs (which cover his reign through 1945), and numerous interviews with individual supporters and critics. The basically chronological work includes all of the major events of 20th-century Ethiopian history and Selassies life, from his youth as Ras Tafari Makkonen through the 1974 coup that deposed him and led to his death the following year. In between, Emperor Selassie successfully found allies to repel Mussolinis invasion of Ethiopia, began Western-style modernization efforts, and helped found the Organization of African Unity, while granting little power to anyone else and failing to deal with the 1973 famine. Asserate does not judge Selassie as harshly as others have, but he concludes that Haile Selassie was unequal to the challenges that accompanied the headlong technological and economic development of the world. (Nov.)