How did it happen that Ethiopia alone of all the old states in Africa preserved its independence throughout the era of European colonization? Why did Ethiopia alone survive the scramble for Africa as a free nation? In this book, Professor Rubenson has devoted his attention to this fundamental question in the modern history of the ancient kingdom. His analysis of nineteenth-century contacts between Ethiopians and foreigners is based wherever possible on contemporary Ethiopian documents. It demonstrates that it was neither physical inaccessibility nor lack of determination by imperial powers to subdue the country that saved it from colonization. This book has much to offer to those interested in the mechanisms by which the Europeans created dependence in Africa. However, its main objective is to provide the Ethiopian side of the story: the growing awareness of the issue involved, the birth of a conscious and active foreign policy, and the determination to resist foreign tutelage and conquest whatever the cost.