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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

This House Has Fallen? Since When?

To understand Africa, one must understand Nigeria, and few Americans understand Nigeria better than Karl Maier. This House Has Fallen is a bracing and disturbing report on the state of Africa's most populous, potentially richest, and most dangerously dysfunctional nation.Each year, with depressing consistency, Nigeria is declared the most corrupt state in the entire world. Though Nigeria is a nation into which billions of dollars of oil money flow, its per capita income has fallen dramatically in the past two decades. Military coup follows military coup. A bellwether for Africa, it is a country of rising ethnic tensions and falling standards of living, very possibly on the verge of utter collapse — a collapse that could dramatically overshadow even the massacres in Rwanda.A brilliant piece of reportage and travel writing, This House Has Fallen looks into the Nigerian abyss and comes away with insight, profound conclusions, and even some hope. Updated with a new preface by the author.
I have already addressed Karl Maier in my In the House of Dogs that should be read by anyone who wants to know the genesis of the Nigerian crisis from the testimonies of someone born and bred in Nigeria and not from the pedestrian observations of a foreigner. A visitor does not know your home more than you no matter how long the visitor stays with you.


A journey into contemporary Africa's most powerful, most corrupt nation.. To understand Africa, you have to understand Nigeria, and few Americans understand Nigeria better than Karl Maier. In the tradition of Philip Gourevitch's bestselling We Regret to Inform You...and Redmond O'Hanlon's No Mercy, This House Has Fallen is a bracing, disturbing, evocative report on the state of Africa's most populous, potentially richest, and most dangerously dysfunctional nation.Each year, with depressing consistency, Nigeria is declared the most corrupt state in the entire world. A nation into which billions of dollars of oil money flow, Nigeria's per capita income has dramatically fallen in the past two decades. All of the money has been stolen by elites. Also stolen has been democracy. Nigeria's leaders tend to elect themselves, often with the help of a gun. Military coup follows military coup. A rare democratic election is often merely a prelude to the next seizure of power by a general who wants greater access to the state's rapidly depleted vaults. A country of rising ethnic tensions and falling standards of living, Nigeria is a bellwether for Africa. And yet some think it is on the verge of utter collapse, a collapse that could overshadow even the massacres in Rwanda.A brilliant piece of reportage and travel writing, this book looks into the Nigerian abyss and comes away with insight, profound conclusions, and even some hope. To understand Africa, you have to understand Nigeria, and few Americans understand Nigeria better than Karl Maier. In the tradition of Philip Gourevitch's bestselling We Regret to Inform You...and Redmond O'Hanlon's No Mercy, This House Has Fallen is a bracing, disturbing, evocative report on the state of Africa's most populous, potentially richest, and most dangerously dysfunctional nation.Each year, with depressing consistency, Nigeria is declared the most corrupt state in the entire world. A nation into which billions of dollars of oil money flow, Nigeria's per capita income has dramatically fallen in the past two decades. All of the money has been stolen by elites. Also stolen has been democracy. Nigeria's leaders tend to elect themselves, often with the help of a gun. Military coup follows military coup. A rare democratic election is often merely a prelude to the next seizure of power by a general who wants greater access to the state's rapidly depleted vaults. A country of rising ethnic tensions and falling standards of living, Nigeria is a bellwether for Africa. And yet some think it is on the verge of utter collapse, a collapse that could overshadow even the massacres in Rwanda.A brilliant piece of reportage and travel writing, this book looks into the Nigerian abyss and comes away with insight, profound conclusions, and even some hope. *The first significant book on this subject in decades Nigeria is strategically vital to the United States-- it is one of our major suppliers of oil.




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