Paper $22.95 ISBN: 9781910376645 Will Publish May 2017
Cloth $29.95 ISBN: 9781910376140 Published December 2015 Not for sale in the United Kingdom or Europe
E-book $29.95 ISBN: 9781910376195 Will Publish September 2015

King of Kings

The Triumph and Tragedy of Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia

Asfa-Wossen Asserate

King of Kings

Asfa-Wossen Asserate

Distributed for Haus Publishing

With a Foreword by Thomas Pakenham
336 pages | 6 color plates, 25 halftones | 6 x 9 1/4 | © 2015  
Paper $22.95 ISBN: 9781910376645 Will Publish May 2017
Cloth $29.95 ISBN: 9781910376140 Published December 2015 Not for sale in the United Kingdom or Europe
E-book $29.95 ISBN: 9781910376195 Will Publish September 2015
Haile Selassie I, the last emperor of Ethiopia, was as brilliant as he was formidable. An early proponent of African unity and independence, Haile Selassie, who claimed to be a descendant of King Solomon, fought with the Allies against the Axis powers during World War II and was a messianic figure for the Jamaican Rastafarians. Written by Asfa-Wossen Asserate, Haile Selassie’s grandnephew, this is the first major biography on this final “king of kings.”

Asserate introduces Haile Selassie as a reformer and an autocrat whose personal history—with all of its upheavals, promises, and horrors—reflects in many ways the history of the twentieth century itself. Chosen as Time’s “Man of the Year” in 1936 for resisting Mussolini’s invasion of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie was celebrated by many as the anti-colonialist “father of Africa.” But the final years of his empire saw turmoil and revolution, and he was ultimately overthrown and assassinated in a communist coup.

Asserate, who spent his childhood and adolescence in Ethiopia before fleeing the revolution of 1974, knew Haile Selassie personally and gained intimate insights into life at the imperial court. Using his own personal experiences and painstaking research in family and public archives, Asserate has achieved a colorful and even-handed portrait of the emperor and his tumultuous reign.
Prologue: Who Was Haile Selassie?
Notes on the text

1. A childhood in Harar
2. Two Cousins vie for power
3. The Ethiopian Machiavelli
4. The Elect of God
5. The darkest of God
6. The Lion of Judah returns
7. Shots across the bows
8. Shaking hands with history
9. An empty house
10. Haile Selassie’s legacy
Ethiopian Imperial Titles, in descending order of rank
Family tree
Picture credits
Review Quotes
Publishers Weekly
“A multifaceted picture of the so-called Father of Africa.”
Foreword Reviews
“A thorough and in-depth view of this larger-than-life figure. . . . Intertwines history, geography, politics, religion, and human interest to form a fascinating narration that covers much of the landscape of the twentieth century.”
“A tautly written, remarkably even-handed account of successful autocracy.” 
“Haile Selassie is one of the most bizarre and misunderstood figures in 20th-century history, alternately worshipped and mocked, idolised and marginalised. This magnificent biography by the German-Ethiopian historian Asfa-Wossen Asserate (a distant relation of Selassie), and translated by Peter Lewis, is diligently researched and fair-minded; he is at last accorded a proper dignity.”
Literary Review
“This rather splendid book . . . can best be described as a sober and rational assessment of the extremely long and complex life of the most eminent African ruler of the 20th century.”
Times Literary Supplement
“The value of Asfa-Wossen Asserate’s biography is that it is an insider’s account. . . . Asserate provides a clear-sighted, dispassionate appraisal of the Emperor’s life.”
Tadias Magazine
“Provides an authoritative, insider’s perspective and a refreshingly balanced look at this fascinating international figure who was the global face of Ethiopia for most of the 20th century. . . . King of Kings: Triumph and Tragedy of Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia is full of captivating details that only an insider could share; it is written with great poise and warmth for the enigmatic leader while at the same time cognizant of the swelling unhappiness and criticism the Emperor faced from his own people impatient with the pace of change.”
Defense & Foreign Affairs Special Analysis
“This moving and commanding work of literature, a perspective from inside the subject’s world and yet with full recognition of the world which surrounded it, is a litany of lessons, and a signal reminder of the human components of leadership.”
New African
"The impressive, dazzling and complex personality of Haile Selassie, King of Kings and Conquering Lion, is conveyed in this biographical portrait by Asfa-Wossen Asserate, his great-nephew."
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, on the German edition
“A superior biography.”
Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of The Romanovs
"This is a superb, magnificent and totally gripping biography."
Alex Perry, author of The Rift: A New Africa Breaks Free
"Today, after centuries of oppression, a billion Africans are finally winning back the substance of their freedom but it is proving a long, vexed and sometimes violent fight. Asfa-Wossen Asserate’s masterful, insider’s account of Haile Selassie, the African emperor who led Ethiopia’s struggle against colonial fascism only to deny liberty to his people, stands as inspiration and warning to an entire continent."
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