This review discusses Emanuele Ertola’s monograph In terra d’Africa. Gli Italiani che colonizzarono l’impero within the recent historiography on social life of the Italian colonies. The author bases his reconstruction of the social experience of the colonial settlers and labour migrants, examining a wide range of information and data, organizing a bulk of relevant sources often dispersed and not well organized and available. Once the open war
against the indipendent Ethiopia was over - as the A. convincingly shows - the Italian colonial authorities faced enormous practical problems. Despite the incentives, insufficient support and inadequate funds, low expertise, lack of capital and qualification, social weakness, difficult labor recruitment, corruption, created harsh disillusions and brought the colony to failure even before the second world war. Far for realizing a dream, the colonial experience which lasted only five wears, become a real.
Keywords: Colonialismo italiano, Etiopia, Colonia di popolamento, Storia sociale