A stimulating notion of how to keep Nigeria together.




Owhoko (Career Frustration in the Workplace, 2016, etc.) takes a hard look at Nigeria’s future.

The African country of Nigeria includes a hodgepodge of ethnicities, drawn together into British-created administrative zones. While imperial state divisions gestured toward the regional identities of various tribes (predominantly the Hausa-Fulani in the north, Igbo in the southeast, and Yoruba in the southwest), the amalgamation of Nigeria into a single independent state was as much a product of England’s colonial legacy as it was the desire of Nigerians themselves. As Owhoko puts it, “British colonial masters failed both in intelligence and capacity to know that the country called Nigeria was not going to work due to the heterogeneous nature of the people.” Various groups lobbied for increased independence until a coup and secession in the 1960s erupted into civil war. Even now, following the 1970 reunification, the author says, “there is so much fear and anxiety rising from unhealthy competition and rivalry amongst ethnic groups.” Implied in Owhoko’s history is the idea that Nigeria’s people will continue to push for regional independence and that the best way to resolve these issues harmonically is by adopting a federalist system—not unlike the one that was practiced at the country’s founding, between 1960 and 1966. The author acknowledges that such a system wouldn’t be viable unless a majority of Nigerian citizens voted for it, but he thinks that’s possible, and his book is a road map for getting to that point. Owhoko impressively, if selectively, marshals his evidence; for example, he gives more space to historical figures that voiced the kind of federalism that he supports than he does to their opponents. And given the current state of oil prices, it’s unlikely that residents of a semi-independent northern region will content themselves with the proceeds of “groundnuts, hides, and skins” that sustained them decades ago, as the author argues. Nationalists and separatists will both find much to quibble with here, but Owhoko is an eloquent spokesman for his cause. Readers who still dream of a pluralist democracy will find this manifesto to be energizing reading.

A stimulating notion of how to keep Nigeria together.

Pub Date: Aug. 4, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5320-2496-2

Page Count: 112

Publisher: iUniverse

Review Posted Online: Nov. 30, 2017

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This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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