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Publisher's Summary

It was the war that changed everything, and yet it's been mostly forgotten: in 1935, Italy invaded Ethiopia. It dominated newspaper headlines and newsreels. It inspired mass marches in Harlem, a play on Broadway, and independence movements in Africa. As the British Navy sailed into the Mediterranean for a white-knuckle showdown with Italian ships, riots broke out in major cities all over the United States. Italian planes dropped poison gas on Ethiopian troops, bombed Red Cross hospitals, and committed atrocities that were never deemed worthy of a war crimes tribunal. But unlike the many other depressing tales of Africa that crowd book shelves, this is a gripping thriller, a rousing tale of real-life heroism in which the Ethiopians come back from near destruction and win. Tunneling through archive records, tracking down survivors still alive today, and uncovering never-before-seen photos, Jeff Pearce recreates a remarkable era and reveals astonishing new findings. He shows how the British Foreign Office abandoned the Ethiopians to their fate, while Franklin Roosevelt had an ambitious peace plan that could have changed the course of world history had Chamberlain not blocked him with his policy on Ethiopia. And Pearce shows how modern propaganda techniques, the post-war African world, and modern peace movements all were influenced by this crucial conflict a war in Africa that truly changed the world.

©2014 Jeff Pearce. Foreword by Richard Pankhurst (P)2014 Audible Inc.
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about Prevail

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  • M2
  • 02-03-15

This is not a history, it's a package of anecdotes

Would you ever listen to anything by Jeff Pearce and Richard Pankhurst (foreword) again?

Absolutely not! Only a small percentage of this book actually tells the story of the Italo-Ethiopian war. The lion's share of the book is a collection of totally irrelevant stories that should never have been included. For example, the book not only meanders to talk about a French entertainer's comments on the war but also her "exploits" during World War 2. This was irrelevant and should not have been mentioned. The book does this over and over and over with irrelevant person after person, to the exclusion of real content.With the VERY LITTLE TIME the book does spend on the actual conflict and war itself is poisoned by this style. There is little to no explanation of what happened, merely quotations meant to show individual drama related to the events. While some of this adds to a military history, the book has so little meat, so little exposition - so little real information, that none of this means anything. It's not history, but a gushy, meandering mess. Terrible!

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Prevail?

Very nearly everything, the book introduces so little content about it's titular topic.

7 people found this helpful

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Can’t stop listening!

As a young Ethiopian, I honestly say I wasn’t educated about this important history except the few tv programs that are shown around the celebration of victory of Adewa and some local books about our heroes. This book really give me a piece of Ethiopians history and the history behind the known and unknown heroes and figures I hear about. Answered my questions about how Haile Selassie went to England when patriots are fighting, how he returned, how he managed to rally people/countries behind him, and many more. Thank you for the writer.
Amazing book! and I do recommend it for all.

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overwhelmed

In lightning and heart warming as well as convicting. There is so much for us to learn from this great nation and the errors of the leaders of the world. I hope we have learned our lesson. I fear we have not.

2 people found this helpful

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Ethiopian view

Well-written book on the Ethiopians view of the war. Numerous first person accounts. Excellent details on foreign-policy. Little discussion of military events.

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Fascinating untold story written in great detail

I vaguely knew of this war but now having read this, I feel like i understand a key piece of 20th century history. The interwar period is fully outlined in this book via this one conflict.

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Less than half the real story.

Not enough insight.
Read the 2nd volume of Haile Selassie's autobiography, for correct details & interpretation.

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Fantastic

An amazing book and a wonderful narration. A must for any history fan. Well done! Thanks very much

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besy book on the subject

great story about the leadup invasion and liberation of etheopia in the 1930s through 1940s

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Details matter

As an Ethiopian American, I value the global appeal this story has to fill in often neglected rise of global African diaspora consciousness at that particular time. Jeff pulls together an incredible amount of information to tell a story which has equal value today as it did almost more than 80 years ago. Thank you!

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we control our destiny.

This Book reminds me again History is made in battle ground with blood, tears, and sweat not on social media. As we are always known for, we control our destiny and write our own history. Here we are again on a crossroad, Ethiopia prevail we have always a potential to COME BACK and CONTROL our DESTINY. Great book Jeff. God bless Ethiopia

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  • Connor Sampson
  • 08-11-22

Often biased and not shy about it's opinions.

I'm around 8 hours in at the moment, and I do hope it pulls itself together. The invasion of Ethiopia by Italy was a terrible event, leading to tremendous suffering, and it needs to be told. The problem with this book, however, is that it falls over itself to airbrush away all problems with Ethiopia at the time, creating a wildly one sided narrative. Ethiopia was an aggressive dictatorship which carried out slavery on a massive scale. In the years before and after this book, Ethiopia would invade it's neighbours, carrying out genocide and mass mutilation.

In this book these details are airbrushed away. When British officials oppose Ethiopia joining the league of nations due to its aggression and reliance on a huge slave population, the book dismisses them as racists who just don't like Ethiopia because of the black population. When an American woman comments that the Ethiopian dictator needs to be removed from power and Ethiopian slavery abolished, she is described as "ditzy and self absorbed". In the world of this book, Ethiopia is a pure nation which has done no wrong, and only racists ever opposed it.

The Italian invasion of Ethiopia was horrific and should not have happened, but this book does not give a good understanding of what the actual situation was. It wastes pages which could have been used to discuss these issues on the lives of American and British journalists, following yet another non-Ethiopian's story. As of yet, not a single Italian's story has been mentioned in the book, further compounding its skewed narrative.

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  • Andrew Fontenelle
  • 04-22-22

Prevail

Like most, I am well aware of the Italian invasion of Ethiopia in the 1930s but didn't know many of the details. From historical archives and the commentaries of those involved, this book provides a captivating read of events before, during and after the invasion.

This book covers the Ethiopian insurrection, the Italian atrocities, including the use of chemical warfare and how the rest of the world ignored these war crimes. How Ethiopia was treated by the British afterwards and the country's feat in the decades up to current times is outlined in some detail.

I would recommend this book.

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  • Belfastconfetti
  • 03-14-22

The tedious, overwrought, prolix narrative is ruined by a dreadful reading.

I gave up three hours in, having learned almost nothing about Ethiopia, Italy or the politics of the time but a great deal about the author's anachronistic views.

Tedious and opinionated with frequent long and pointless expeditions into American race politics it may be that the ostensible subject might be addressed somewhere around hour twelve?

Perhaps there is an interesting, useful history hidden somewhere in this book, maybe a tenth the size of the actual work. Perhaps not, mind you.

Bad as the writing is, it is nothing, nothing at all compared to the dreadfulness of the reading. The lector appears to be channeling Liberace after twenty banana liqueurs and in particular treats us to the very, very worst pretend British accents I have ever heard in any circumstances. Someone called Moose-olini is bad, English aristocrats who don't attend Eaten have been to Hair-row while Londoners are all Cackneys (actually, that is true) - you get the flavour. Unbearably bad. Pah!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-06-20

Interesting book

This was a truly insightful piece of work!
Very enjoyable and well worth a listen!

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  • hiwot
  • 06-18-21

Genocide supporter

I bought this book not knowing Jeff Pearce the author is a genocide supporter who has been continuously giving an excuse for the genocide, sexual violence and starvation taking place in Tigray, north of Ethiopia. The very people he writes about defeating Italian army, home of Ras Alula. I’m disgusted by this man and what he stands for, I will never trust his story!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-26-20

Outstanding book

So much more than a history of Italy's failed attempt to colonise Ethiopia. It captures an era.

Quite a few of the Amharic words and names were mispronounced, but generally a good narrator.

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