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Anyone interested in the history of Eritrea, Ethiopia, or Italian and British Imperialism will learn much from this book. It gives the full texts of the treasure-house of unpublished documents on which the same author’s Lords of the Red Sea was based. These documents were produced at the end of the 19th century by the Italian administrators in Eritrea who dealt with the local nomads. These young officers became intrigued by the society and history of the highly developed Habab tribe, even as they became part of that history, replacing loose hegemony with direct sovereignty. Their records document not only their own important role in the “Scramble for Africa” but also the whole culture and historical memory of a fascinating society.