Paper $18.95 ISBN: 9781780329062 Published November 2015 For sale in North and South America only
Cloth $95.00 ISBN: 9781780329079 Published November 2015 For sale in North and South America only


A New History of a Turbulent Century

Richard Bourne


Richard Bourne

Distributed for Zed Books

272 pages | 5 x 9 | © 2015
Paper $18.95 ISBN: 9781780329062 Published November 2015 For sale in North and South America only
Cloth $95.00 ISBN: 9781780329079 Published November 2015 For sale in North and South America only
Seen from some angles, Nigeria is a remarkable success story: despite its poorly conceived colonial origins, the lingering damage of its colonial subjugation, tenacious civil war, wildly unequal economy, and the recent insurgency by Boko Haram, it has nonetheless remained one nation, growing in population and power, for more than a century now.

This new look at Nigeria traces the country’s history from its pre-colonial days as the home region to a number of distinct tribal powers through its definition by Britain as a single nation in 1914, to the hopeful early days of independence after World War II and the ongoing, often tragic disappointments of its governance and economic performance in the decades since. Richard Bourne pays particular attention to the failure to ensure that the wealth from Nigeria’s abundant oil, mineral, and agricultural resources is widely shared, and he offers an incisive analysis of the damaging effects that such gross inequality has on the nation’s stability and democratic prospects.

The most up-to-date and comprehensive analysis of Africa’s most important and populous nation in decades, this history—rooted in more than three decades of visiting and working in the country—will instantly be the standard account of Nigeria.
Preface and acknowledgements

1914-1939: Invention of a country
1. Merger makes a large possession for Britain
2. First World War: Nigeria on the front line
3. Lugard struggles with opponents
4. Between the wars: Nigeria is not a single state
5. Between the wars: the economy in a world depression
6. Between the wars: a new assertive nationalism

1939-1964: Rocky road to freedom:
7. Another world war, and strategic importance
8. Political change, and divisive regionalism
9. Regional governments, and the coming of independence
10. Joy of independence
11. Overture to disaster

1964-1989: The shadow of generals
12. Military coups, Biafra, and civil war
13. Reconstruction, another coup, and the craving for democracy
14. A second republic, its short inglorious life, and overthrow
15. Buhari, IBB and a new military era

1989-2014: A decade of pain, then democracy a disappointment
16. Annulment of an election puts Nigeria on edge
17. The disastrous Abacha years
18. Democracy - and the return of Obasanjo
19. Yar’Adua, Jonathan and threats in the Delta and northeast

Review Quotes
Foreign Affairs
“This very readable history provides an excellent introduction to Africa’s most populous country.”
Africa Report
“A new book by journalist Richard Bourne has spurred debate about Nigeria’s past and what the future could hold for the country's exploding population.”
“Throughout the text, Bourne is guided by a desire to historicize the difficulties that Nigerians have faced in developing a strong, stable, unified state with a meaningful national identity out of a multicultural, multireligious polity that was originally created to suit the needs of an alien colonial regime. . . . Contain(s) interesting tidbits and anecdotes that are not available in other political histories of Nigeria.”
African Studies Quarterly
“The book currently stands as the most extensive documentation on Nigeria covering a century of its existence, thereby being more informative in outlook than other publications on the country.”
The Round Table: The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs
“An insightful account of great interest to scholars.”
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