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Peter P. Garretson’s history of the foundation and early years of the city of Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia from 1886 to 1910, focuses on the economic and political history of an indigenous city unusual for this period of African history, since it was not under the control of a colonial power. The political history concentrates on the dominant role of minorities in the early years of the capital’s growth. The most important local official was the Naggadras or head of the merchants, who was the equivalent of a mayor. The economic history emphasizes the importance again of Emperor Menilek, the early importance of trade routes in the growth of the city, and the role of modernization and innovation in the history of the capital and the nation.