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I Didn't Do It For You

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Publisher Report: In Print


  • Author: Michela Wrong
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial
  • EAN/ISBN: 9780007150953
  • Size: 13x20cm
  • Binding: Paperback
Just as the beat of a butterfly's wings is said to cause hurricanes on the other side of the world, so the affairs of tiny Eritrea have reached onto the agenda of superpower strategists.

Eritrea is a little-known country scarred by decades of conflict and occupation. It has weathered the world's longest-running guerrilla war and the dogged determination that secured victory against Ethiopia, its giant neighbour, is woven into the national psyche.

Fascist Italy wanted Eritrea as the springboard for a new, racially-pure Roman empire, Britain sold off its industry for scrap, the US needed headquarters for its state-of-the-art spy station and the Soviet Union used it as a pawn in a proxy war.

Michela Wrong reveals the breathtaking abuses this tiny nation has suffered and, with the sharp eye for detail and taste for the incongruous that was the hallmark of her account of Mobutu's Congo, tells the story of colonialism itself. Along the way, we meet a formidable Emperor, a guerrilla fighter who taught himself French cuisine in the bush, and a chemist who arranged the heist of his own laboratory.

An arresting blend of travelogue and history, I Didn't Do It For You pierces the dark heart of our colonial history.

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