"One of the lesser-acknowledged outcomes of [Eritrea's] travails is that its historical trajectory has been neglected by scholars in favor of presentist concerns with the incumbent regime. Joseph L. Venosa's Paths toward the Nation is a refreshing and innovative exception to that trend, a powerful exemplar of the insights which can be provided by sustained, cogent, and indeed courageous historical research into the most complex and shadowed of places." --American Historical Review In the early and mid-1940s, during the period of British wartime occupation, community and religious leaders in the former Italian colony of Eritrea engaged in a course of intellectual and political debate that marked the beginnings of a genuine national consciousness across the region. During the late 1940s and 1950s, the scope of these concerns slowly expanded as the nascent nationalist movement brought together these Muslim activists with the increasingly disaffected community of Eritrean Christians. The Eritrean Muslim League emerged as the first genuine proindependence organization in the country to challenge both the Ethiopian government's calls for annexation and international plans to partition Eritrea between Sudan and Ethiopia. The league and its supporters also contributed to the expansion of Eritrea's civil society, formulating the first substantial arguments about what made Eritrea an inherently separate national entity. These concepts were essential to the later transition from peaceful political protest to armed rebellion against Ethiopian occupation. Paths toward the Nation is the first study to focus exclusively on Eritrea's nationalist movement before the start of the armed struggle in 1961.
Paths Toward the Nation
Ohio University Press
Islam, Community, and Early Nationalist Mobilization in Eritrea, 1941-1961
Research in International Studies. Africa Series
Mind, Body & Spirit