A SWAMP FULL OF DOLLARS - BOOK REVIEW

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Michael Peel's first book titled A Swamp Full of Dollars is a refreshingly balanced look at Nigeria through the prism of its most famous export - oil. Peel, who lived in Nigeria for some years as a reporter for the Financial Times, goes beyond the typical depictions and assertions made about Nigeria. He places modern day issues such as the Niger Delta militants, political corruption in a historical context, enlightening readers about the roots of many oil-related problems.

Even the most well-versed and passionate observers of Nigeria and its history would be interested to learn of the 1895 palm oil war between residents of the Niger Delta and British colonialists, given the parallels to present violence, corruption and subjugation in the same region more than a century later. Peel also focuses on the complicity of non-Nigerian actors/interests and their role in creating some of the issues Nigeria faces. Peel expressly illustrates how these foreign actors have exploited Nigerian oil and compounded problems, showing a weave of complexity that is fascinating.

A Swamp Full of Dollars is definitely a must read for all trying to understand not just Nigeria but how oil an the converging interests of of others can transform oil, a natural resource that should be a blessing, into a curse, of sorts. Peel has managed to write an engaging, yet informative book about Nigeria, its people, its past and possibly its future. It is a definite addition to any library, personal or otherwise.

To learn more about Michael Peel or the book, please visit his website or IB Tauris


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3 Curiosities. Add Yours.:

olaoluwatomi said...

Would love to read the book,a part of the review which isnt news shows that our problems have been exacerbated by foreign nationals as well as greedy Nigerians! I guess the Niger Delta might have been a different story if there were no powerful foreign interests involved! Utopian? I agree!

olaoluwatomi said...

Would love to read the book,a part of the review which isnt news shows that our problems have been exacerbated by foreign nationals as well as greedy Nigerians! I guess the Niger Delta might have been a different story if there were no powerful foreign interests involved! Utopian? I agree!

My World said...

I gotta read that book.......thanks for sharing!

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