Thursday, October 6, 2011

British Public Opinion and the Abyssinian War 1935-6 by Daniel Waley.

British Public Opinion and the Abyssinian War 1935-6 by Daniel Waley.  Hardcover published 1975.

Abyssinia, now known as Ethiopia (…actually Homer* used the word Ethiopia in the Illiad, so it has been known as Ethiopia for quite a while… longer than I can remember…), was attacked and occupied by Italy in 1935.  1935 Italy was of course a fascist state and Ethiopia was invaded to demonstrate Italy’s powerful iron fist by the defending of it’s borders (Italian Somaliland)… lets be honest here, they probably wanted to get something from the Ethiopians (money… power).  Haile Selassie, the Emperor of Ethiopia, appealed to the League of Nations for some assistance and… ummmmm… it took a few years for anything to happen.  Haile Selassie went to Bath (a place in England) whilst his people suffered under the fascists.

But this book is less about the Ethiopians or the Italians and is about British Public Opinion in regards to this whole schmozzle.  This was of course a time when Britain still ruled a lot of this planet and the British Public still considered all of this stuff of great importance.  In this day and age when everyone is either invading everything or sending troops everywhere usually to get something (money… power), this little incident has possibly been nearly forgotten.  With the distance we now have and particularly considering what happened soon thereafter (there was a war), this particular war seems fairly minor and of little consequence… that is unless of course you’re either an Ethiopian, an Italian… or even British… and are interested in Imperialism particularly in relation to Africa.  With all that has happened and is happening in this region (Sudan, Somalia… the World) I think this book is of great interest.

*The old Greek guy. Not the father of Bart.

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