The book tells the extraordinary story of the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) revolution, from its beginning in February 1975 by a handful of students, its expansion into the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) coalition, and their victory in May 1991 over the Soviet-backed military dictatorship of Mengistu Haile-Mariam. The story accumulates slowly through multiple voices and perspectives. It is presented from the point of view of an external observer learning as she goes along.The book is based on three journeys through the war zone which not only show different points in the process of revolution, but different states in the author's understanding of the history, causes and evolution of this struggle. She talks to leaders, peasants and men and women fighters. She investigates the history and goes to the war front.
Her quest was to understand this uniquely transforming moment in Ethiopian history from dictatorship to a fledgling democracy. In this riveting account of her journeys Jenny Hammond unlocks the hitherto hidden history of the EPRDF liberation movement. She provides the reader with a unique insight into the origin and evolution of the movement and describes the social and political transformations of the society during the war period. For the first time, the author unveils the unique record of this important historical movement through taped interviews with the EPRDF leadership, including,, the present Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi.