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Colonialism and Violence in Nigeria Paperback – September 25, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0253221193 ISBN-10: 0253221196
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Editorial Reviews


"Toyin Falola has worked extensively on both the impact of colonial rule and the role of violence in structuring social relations in Nigeria, and [this book] clearly stands at the intersection of two significant areas of his research.... [A] very welcome addition to the literature on Nigeria." ―The Journal of African History, 2010, Volume 51

This work serves as a prequel to Falola's earlier Violence in Nigeria (CH, Feb'99, 36-3580), a somber look at religious violence in the late 20th century. The current work deals with political and other public mayhem, with a chapter on gendered violence. Falola (Texas) describes late-19th-century British conquests, the role of force in sustaining colonial rule, taxation conflicts (a notably gendered issue during the 1929 Women's War in southeastern Nigeria), and labor struggles and riots and concludes that colonial-era violence severely scarred Nigerian political culture. A seemingly surprising chapter on verbal violence is valid in encompassing threats, implications of force, and assertive 1940s nationalism. The main argument is familiar: foreign conquest and domination lie at the root of the problem. This is true enough but implicitly downplays the impact of precolonial violence, including indigenous state building and slave raiding. The book ends in the early 1950s, short of independence. This gap leaves hope that Falola will complete a trilogy assessing developments from the 1950s through the 1970s, including the tragic Biafra War. This book is another strong contribution from Africa's most prolific historian. Summing Up: Recommended. College and large public libraries, undergraduates and above. --Choice T. P. Johnson, University of Massachusetts, Boston, July 2010

"Colonial violence treated from the point of view of the African victims/colonized, not from the self-serving perspective of European/British conquerors and colonizers." ―Felix Ekechi, Kent State University

"Overall, this book brings a refreshing angle to a familiar subject.... The framework of violence particularly allows us to see both the power and limitations of the colonial state and in so doing, marks an important contribution to the broader scholarship on British imperialism in Africa." ―American Historical Review, December 2010

"This is an important topic, and it would take a scholar of Falola's prodigious range to do it justice. Indeed, the volume he has produced provides a useful and readable overview to the problem." ―H-Net Reviews, July, 2010

"Well-researched, well-written with its richly textured and nuanced analysis, it is the first study to attempt a general and cohesive overview of the connections between violence and imperialism in colonial Nigeria." ―Funso Afolayan, University of New Hampshire

"Colonialism and Violence in Nigeria is an indispensable resource for lecturers, and will endure as a useful synthesis for researchers and devotees of Nigerian history." ―Intl. Journal of African Historical Studies, Vol. 43, no. 2, 2010

"This book is another strong contribution from Africa's most prolific historian.... Recommended." ―Choice, July 2010

About the Author

Toyin Falola is University Distinguished Teaching Professor at The University of Texas at Austin. He is editor (with Matt D. Childs) of The Yoruba Diaspora in the Atlantic World (IUP, 2005); (with Kevin D. Roberts) of The Atlantic World: 1450–2000 (IUP, 2008); and (with Joel E. Tishken and Akíntúndé Akínyemí) of Sàngó in Africa and the African Diaspora (IUP, 2009).


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press (September 25, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0253221196
  • ISBN-13: 978-0253221193
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,012,266 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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