'This is an example of a country that has fallen down; it has collapsed. This house has fallen.' Chinua Achebe Nigeria is one of the most complex and fascinating countries in the world. It is staggeringly diverse, its population (twice that ofBritain's) is split into some 300 different ethnic groups and its geography ranges from the dense tropical jungles of the south to the arid Sahel of the north. One in six of all Africans live in Nigeria. THIS HOUSE HAS FALLEN is both a gripping account of the contemporary crisis in a country seemingly always on the edge of a nervous breakdown and an evocation of the reality of day to day life under impossible circumstances.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
As Karl Maier makes clear in the preface to his diligent, urgent study of Africa's largest nation, Nigeria is not a developing country, but an underdeveloping one. Rich in natural resources, since the British departed in 1960, "the bastard son of imperialism" has gone from being the premier African voice to a dissenting cacophony made up of its various ethnic, geographic and religious groupings. At the start of the new Millennium, Nigeria looks in danger of succumbing to regionalism, the alter ego of globalisation, and could descend into a disastrous turmoil of regional violence unprecedented since the Biafran war. This is the third, and worst, scenario envisaged by Maier, as he concludes what is a richly researched and vigorous survey of the country and its people. Maier was an African correspondent for Western newspapers for 10 years, and reported from Nigeria from 1991 to 1993. He opens his account with the inauguration of President Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999, following it with swift analyses of definingly Nigerian tensions, such as election monitoring, the numerous military coups, the battle of the Ogoni people in the Niger delta against oil producers and their own government (explored elsewhere by Ken Wiwa's In the Shadow of a Saint, a memoir of his father, Ken Saro-Wiwa), religious tensions between Muslims and non-Muslim communities, Sharia rule and the survival of the Igbo people.
What elevates Maier's book beyond being merely highly competent journalism are his encounters with the Nigerian peoples, whose outrageous guile and passionate beliefs, whether in a religion, a tribe, an ethos or simply themselves, are what makes the country unique and vital. One marvellous episode sees a riot of thieving by police and soldiers as Obasanjo makes his speech, and words are looted as liberally, with the quick wit of the repressed. The future will tell which of Maier's scenarios will prevail--a new democratic order, the status quo of economic haemorrhaging, or an ethnic bloodbath--but "God is a Nigerian", or so the motto runs, and Maier holds out cautious hope that Nigeria will survive to fulfil something of its vast potential, before the tapestry unravels too far. --David VincentReview:
"...an account whose insights and truths are bound to resonate in Nigeria and outside for long to come." -- Okey Ndibe, The Guardian of Lagos, 14 February 2001
"Maier fuses recent history and reportage to explain how Nigeria has descended into a kleptocracy run by [...] military/politicians for their own benefit." -- Paul Cullen, Irish Times (Dublin), 20 January 2001
"Maier vividly encapsulates the challenge ahead and the apparent incompatibility of behaviour with aspirational rhetoric." -- John Adedoyin, The Guardian, 13 January 2001
"Mr. Maier's observation is meticulous, and his heart sympathetic... his book throbs with the Nigerians' huge humanity and their hopes, anger and joy." -- Richard Dowden, The Economist, 4 January 2001
"There is not a single page [...] upon which Maier's passion of the place and its people is not immediately evident." -- Robert Edric, The Spectator, 17 January 2001
"[Maier] has written a mesmerising book, leavened with deep affection for Nigeria..." -- Anthea Pitt, The Scotsman, 20 January 2001
"timely and sympathetic" -- Richard Synge, The Independent, 23 January 2001
'Karl Maier's evocative and disturbing book, The House Has Fallen, is a testament to West Africa's great injured elephant. It is a monument to the extraordinary resilience of Nigeria's citizens, a condemnation of the country's self-serving, rapacious ruling elites, a brutal indictment of the West's attitude towards Africa, and a savage expose of the human cost of globalisation.' -- Anthea Pitt , The Scotsman - United Kingdom, January 20th 2001
'Karl Maier's timely and sympathetic book does not pretend to be a complete analysis of Nigeria's almost impossibly complex challenges. But it succeeds in capturing the authentic flavour of the Nigerian political landscape, whether in the palaces of the powerful or in the voting booths of a Lagos slum.' -- Richard Synge, The Independent, January 26th 2001
'Mr Maier gives us a faithful, readable, affectionate but truthful picture of Nigeria...If you're going to Nigeria, or you want to know what this important country is like, this is the book you should read.' -- Anthony Daniels, Daily Telegraph, January 14th 2001
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: Brand New. 368 pages. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # zk0140298843
Book Description Penguin Books, Limited (UK), 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0140298843
Book Description Penguin Books, Limited (UK). PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0140298843 We guarantee all of our items - customer service and satisfaction are our top priorities. Please allow 4 - 14 business days for Standard shipping, within the US. Bookseller Inventory # TM-0140298843