Publications by Eva Poluha and Elehu Feleke


This site is dedicated to our book Thinking Outside The Box and other publications by Eva Poluha and Elehu Feleke

Click on "THE BOOK" for a synopsis of the contents of and excerpts from the book.

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Independent reviews:

A short review of:

Thinking outside the box: Essays on the history and (under) development of Ethiopia,

By Eva Poluha ad Elehu Feleke,

Published by Xlibris: United Kingdom. ISBN 978-1-5144-2224-3. Pp. 383. Price: 200 SEK.  

Eva Poluha is an anthropologist whose engagement with Ethiopia started in the early 1970s. Her life-partner, Elehu Feleke, is a practicing medical doctor based in Sweden and Ethiopia.  The authors have put more than 40 years experience in the production of this beautiful and reader friendly book.

Thinking outside the box is twice as big as most books written this day, but the wide margins and large font makes it quite easy to hold and read. The main question that the authors confront is the reason why Ethiopia has remained one of the poorest nations in the world in spite of its natural and human resources as well as a rich history.

The book contains seven chapters (or essays) that can be read separately. The first three chapters attempt to reconstruct the history of Ethiopia from the early centuries AD until 1974. The first three chapters are important to a serious reader who aspires to grasp the long and complicated history of the country. Indeed, Ethiopia is one of the oldest yet surviving nation-states in the world.   The authors admit that they could not avoid dates and place names and advise the reader to read the summaries at the end of each chapter. The best parts of the first three chapters are, however, the maps from page 50 to 54. The reader can very easily visualise the size of the Ethiopian state through time, migration flows and trade routes as these are superimposed on the current physical map of the country.

Chapters four and five provide excellent background to the main objective of the book, namely to explain why Ethiopia remains one of the poorest in the world. The human and institutional resources are discussed in chapter four while the economy and economic policies since 1900 are treated in chapter five. In chapter six, the authors explain why and how Europe and Asia succeeded to deliver development. The final chapter is a bold attempt to answer the question as to why Ethiopia has remained poor. Ethiopia does not need to remain poor and it could overcome its poverty if its leaders, the academic elite and donors begin to think outside of the box, with sufficient examples of this can be done.

If you want a book that captures the history of Ethiopia, its society and its challenges of development through the centuries, and if you want a book that you can read in small doses, then Thinking outside of the Box is indeed the answer.

Tekeste Negash from Malmö