When Emporer Haile Selassie led Ethiopia out of Italian occupation, he promised much – liberalisation, land reform, greater prosperity, a modern army, and a modern bureaucracy. Thirty years later, resistance, radical movements and dissent were to rock the foundation of his fragile new society into revolution. The economic history of modern Ethiopia has not attracted sufficient scholarly attention, and there has been no publication of note since Pankhurst in 1968. In recent years, Ethiopian scholars themselves have begun to undertake serious research; but there has been a lack of detail and up-to-date analysis, making it difficult to understand the nature of the immense transformations the country went through during its imperial age. Written by Ethiopians, this work fills that gap. Agriculture, industrialisation, monetary policy and demography are investigated; and topics range from drought, the radical land protests of the 1960s, industrialisation and manufacturing, to migration and the struggle for a currency. The forthcoming Volume II will cover the “people’s government” period of 1974.