Soldiers, Martyrs, Traitors, and Exiles is an exploration of the Eritrean struggle for independence from Ethiopia, waged from 1961 to 1991, and the postindependence nation-building project. The book focuses on the way the Eritrean revolution drew refugees and exiles in the urban United States and nationalist guerrilla fighters in the Horn of Africa together in a common, yet contested, political agenda.
Through a combination of ethnography and creative exposition, anthropologist Tricia Redeker Hepner recounts the experiences of Eritreans in their homeland and in the United States, illuminating the lives of men and women who participated in the independence movement. Highlighting both the personal and institutional dimensions of political transformation and struggle, the book provides insight into how the transnational nature of the Eritrean revolution shaped diaspora communities and the nation-state, enhancing authoritarian rule while also inspiring resistance movements for democratization and human rights.
Soldiers, Martyrs, Traitors and Exiles provides a moving and trenchant critique of political intolerance and violence, as well as an inspiring portrait of the strength and resilience of a people whose lives have been profoundly shaped by war, forced migration, and the promises and failures of nationalism in the global era.
Tricia Redeker Hepner teaches anthropology at the University of Tennessee.
List of Abbreviations Preface Chapter 1. Eritrea and Exile Chapter 2. A Tale of Two Fronts: Nationalism and Political Identity in the ELF and EPLF Chapter 3. Transnational Tegadelti: Fighters and Exiles in the 1970s Chapter 4. Eritrea in Exile: Refugees and Community Building in the United States Chapter 5. Ties That Bind and Sometimes Choke: TransnationalDissonance in Eritrea and Exile Chapter 6. A Painful Paradox: Transnational Civil Society and the Sovereign State Notes Glossary of Tigrinya Terms and Phrases References Index Acknowledgments