Benin, one of Africa's smallest and least viable countries, has always attracted considerable academic attention because of its rich traditions and history, as well as its turbulent political evolution. At one point it held the continental record for the highest number of coups d'D'etat, and since 1972 was ruled by an iron-fisted military junta that formally adopted Marxism and declared a People's Republic. In 1989 Benin once again attracted global attention as the country became the first in Africa to liberalize its political and economic system, hold competitive multi-party elections, and transfer power to a civilian head of state. The dictionary, thoroughly revised for this third edition, traces the dominant historical, social, economic, and political features of the country and outlines the biographies of some of the most important personalities who have played a role in the Beninois public scene. Because much of the literature covering Benin appears in French, the work serves not merely as a basic reference work on Benin, but also as one of only a handful of works on the country in English. The bibliography includes a large body of literature that accumulated since the previous edition. It remains the only such comprehensive multilingual bibliography available today, and a basic guide to the literature for students and experts alike.