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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book on a Vicious Conflict, 12 July 2009
This review is from: Oil, Politics and Violence: Nigeria's Military Coup Culture (1966-1976) (Paperback)
This book, by an industrious, questing and objective historian, brings together the most comprehensive and authentic documentation on the Nigerian coup and counter coup of 1966 and the Biafran War that I have ever seen.
The author does not "make a case" for anyone. Rather he sets out the evidence, gives a variety of parties their say and, by and large, then leaves you to make a judgement on the very best evidence available.
I do not think that any of us can responsibly write about the Biafran War and the steps leading up to it unless they have first read and thoroughly digested Max Siollun's book.
I say this against the background that I was Australian High Commissioner in Nigeria at the relevant time and I knew the principal players personally. In early October 1966, I embarked on a Mission to Enugu to talk to Ojukwu - with General Gowon's blessing - in an effort to find a negotiated resolution of Nigeria's deep constitutional, political, racial and tribal problems. Above all, I wanted to avoid the brutal and bloody conflict that, in the event, became known as the Biafran War. In the wake of my meeting with Ojukwu, agreement was reached between Ojukwu and the Federal Nigerian Government at a meeting in Aburi in Ghana in January 1967. However, the agreement fell to pieces shortly afterwards and the first shots in the Biafran War followed within a couple of months or so.
With this background, I can responsibly and, I think, reliably assess the authenticity of what Siollun has to say and recommend his outstanding book to those who want to know, understand and be familiar with Nigerian history of that troubled period.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a book!, 4 April 2011
This review is from: Oil, Politics and Violence: Nigeria's Military Coup Culture (1966-1976) (Paperback)
Max Siollun's book is by far the most factual account of the 1960s I have come across. It is an excellent book, and I am not exagerrating here. The book arrived on a Friday and I just couldn't put it down when I started, finished it by Sunday evening, but I was still yearning for more. Unlike other accounts (I have ready virtually every book in print written by the principal actors), this is the only book where the author does not have a 'hidden agenda' and is therefore able to articulate the various sides of the story without taking sides. I was particularly impressed with his discussion regarding the Aburi conferene and the subsequent FMG about turn...,he was also able to clarify certain myths surrounding the characters (such as Fajuyi) without maligning their memory. I wish all historians, especially those who write on Nigeria are able to present the facts as they are and leave the judgement to history. A must read for all those interested in Nigerian history, I hope Max will move on and produce something just as good for the 80s and 90s. What a book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars OPV is a must read., 22 Nov. 2012
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This review is from: Oil, Politics and Violence: Nigeria's Military Coup Culture (1966-1976) (Paperback)
This account of the recent politics of military governance in Nigeria, is a compendium of knowledge derived from a wide range of primary and secondary sources, including eyewitness accounts. The author has done a diligent job of distilling these disparate sources, and their varying degrees of accuracy, into an unbiased and comprehensive narrative. The book manages a healthy balance between a citizen's passion and the professional detachment essential for genuine historical research. The account is detailed and accurate and this book will become the definitive reference work on this critical period of Nigerian history. There are a few production gremlins, mainly typographical errors, dotted around the book and one hopes these would be corrected in the next edition. The extensive bibliography enables those so inclined to check the sources and improve both the veracity of one's conclusions and range of knowledge.

All considered, this is the best book currently available in this genre and is a must-read for all those who have an interest in the recent history of Nigeria, and the military's role in it. It ought to be read and digested by Nigerian citizens,leaders and friends as well as foreign academics, diplomats and politicians with an interest in Africa's most populous nation and a major regional economic force.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A blockbuster of epic proportion., 24 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: Oil, Politics and Violence: Nigeria's Military Coup Culture (1966-1976) (Paperback)
An up to date comprehensive narrative of contemporary Nigerian history. This book should be read by all Nigerians. The reader would be pleasantly surprised with many revelations in the book. The book did a good job in dispelling many myths or innuendos which abound in Nigerian public discourse.
The book presented an unbiased view of events backed up with detailed research and sources. The reader would never found a dull moment in each page of the book. I'm quite excited with this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Review of Max Siollum's book; Oil,Politics and Violence: Nigeria's Military Coup Culture, 20 Feb. 2011
This review is from: Oil, Politics and Violence: Nigeria's Military Coup Culture (1966-1976) (Paperback)
I have one word to describe this book; EXCELLENT!!! It is one of the best and well resourced books on Nigeria's turbulent history from the mid sixties to the early seventies(and I have read a lot of books on this subject matter) Most other books on this period of Nigeria's history have been written by authors trying to justify their actions or inactions and in a rather self congratulatory and biased style. Max Siollum's book is unbiased and objective and leaves the reader with enough information to make a clear assessment of events that occurred then. It also clearly details the background to the political and ethnic problems that abound in Nigeria in the 21st century. This book is a MUST read by anyone interested in Nigeria's rich history. A sterling book by a meticulous and objective historian....
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book!, 22 Dec. 2009
This review is from: Oil, Politics and Violence: Nigeria's Military Coup Culture (1966-1976) (Paperback)
Congratulations to the author on this brilliant piece of work. It was thoroughly entertaining and immensely educative. Infact reading it made me feel ashamed that i knew so little about the history of my country during this period.

The authour deserves commendation for the great research and the painstaking detail he goes into to bring to life the terrible events of that time.

The only slight critique is the lack of Pictures. It would have brought to life the characters involved especially for those readers who dont know much about Nigeria and wouldnt have a mental image of the protagonists in the story.

All in All though it is a great book. I understand a follow up is in the pipeline charting the coup culture Post 1983. I cannot wait.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading, 4 Nov. 2012
This review is from: Oil, Politics and Violence: Nigeria's Military Coup Culture (1966-1976) (Paperback)
A thoroughly researched, well-written, unbiased account of a period of history much confused by propaganda on all sides.

It was gripping stuff. I couldn't put it down till the end. The tragedy and comedy of the events that caused the Biafra war, make it worthy of recommendation as compulsory reading in Nigerian secondary schools today.

A much better historical account I doubt exists.
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5.0 out of 5 stars oil, politics and violence, 12 Mar. 2010
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B. INUA (Sheffield, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Oil, Politics and Violence: Nigeria's Military Coup Culture (1966-1976) (Paperback)
Fantastic book. A must read for all students of Nigerian history. An unbiased presentation of facts, devoid of the usual regional or ethnic sentiments that usually color books narrating the history of Nigeria around that period.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Oil, Politics and Violence: Nigeria's Military Coup Culture (1966-1976), 2 Oct. 2012
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This review is from: Oil, Politics and Violence: Nigeria's Military Coup Culture (1966-1976) (Paperback)
Great piece. Detailed insightful and unbiased version of Nigeria's early history.

I could not leave this book until i finished reading it. It give a deep understanding of why Nigeria is where we are right now.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Splendid and a factual account Nigeria over a Decade, 20 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: Oil, Politics and Violence: Nigeria's Military Coup Culture (1966-1976) (Paperback)
I have read this book twice and bought a few as presents for friends. The author has done a very good job and I cannot wait to read his next book "Soldiers of Fortune". Every true Nigerian needs a copy for posterity.
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