Nobel Prize-winning writer Wole Soyinka explores the history and future of Nigeria in a compelling jeremiad that is as intense as it is provocative, learned, and wide-ranging. Soyinka deftly explains the shifting dramatis personae of Nigerian history and politics to westerners unfamiliar with the players and the process, tracing the growth of ...Read MoreNobel Prize-winning writer Wole Soyinka explores the history and future of Nigeria in a compelling jeremiad that is as intense as it is provocative, learned, and wide-ranging. Soyinka deftly explains the shifting dramatis personae of Nigerian history and politics to westerners unfamiliar with the players and the process, tracing the growth of Nigeria as a world economy through various political regimes.Read Less
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Publishers Weekly, 1996-06-03 Nobel laureate Soyinka, who now divides his exile between London and Cambridge, Mass., has been an eloquent voice of protest against Nigerian authoritarianism and kleptocracy. Here, he collects previous lectures in which he describes Nigeria's recent predicament, condemns the country's illegitimate leaders and muses about questions of nationalism and international intervention. For those unfamiliar with recent Nigerian history, this book has some rough patches: Soyinka doesn't always contextualize his comments as a journalist would. Still, his condemnation of despotism and his call for international sanctions remain a challenge to the world community. He opens and closes the book with the story of Ken Saro-Wiwa, a leader of the Ogoni minority, whose 1995 execution, which made world headlines, signals to the author both the beginning of ethnic cleansing and the disintegration of the state. Soyinka recognizes his homeland's flawed origin but suggests that its politico-military elite, not its people, have squandered Nigeria's nationhood by annulling the recent elections and curbing dissent. He also regrets that the promise of pan-Africanism has dwindled to local salvage efforts. He concludes by proposingæwithout specifying who should do soæthat "a structured pattern of regional conferences" be initiated to stave off future Yugoslavias and Rwandas. (Aug.)
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