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Where Vultures Feast: Shell, Human Rights, and Oil Paperback – 17 Oct 2003

3.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Verso (17 Oct. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1859844731
  • ISBN-13: 978-1859844731
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.7 x 22.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 721,082 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Okonta and Douglas provide a vivid and relentless account of human tragedy since oil was discovered in the Niger Delta in 1956.

This passionate book should be read by all those interested in the links between oil and oppression. The authors, both from Nigeria's oil producing Niger Delta, bring equal depth of knowledge and outrage at the injustices wrought against their homeland by Nigeria's governments--colonial, military and civilian--and by the oil companies, first among them Shell. --Bronwen Manby

"Okonta and Douglas provide a vivid and relentless account of human tragedy since oil was discovered in the Niger Delta in 1956."--Carl Hand

"This passionate book should be read by all those interested in the links between oil and oppression. The authors, both from Nigeria's oil producing Niger Delta, bring equal depth of knowledge and outrage at the injustices wrought against their homeland by Nigeria's governments--colonial, military and civilian--and by the oil companies, first among them Shell."--Bronwen Manby

Okonta and Douglas provide a vivid and relentless account of human tragedy since oil was discovered in the Niger Delta in 1956. Carl Hand
This passionate book should be read by all those interested in the links between oil and oppression. The authors, both from Nigeria s oil producing Niger Delta, bring equal depth of knowledge and outrage at the injustices wrought against their homeland by Nigeria s governments colonial, military and civilian and by the oil companies, first among them Shell. Bronwen Manby"

About the Author

Ike Okonta is a writer and journalist. His first collection of short stories, The Expert Hunter of Rats, won the Association of Nigerian Authors Prize in 1998. Oronto Douglas is Nigeria's leading human rights lawyer and was a member of the legal team that represented Ken Saro-Wiwa in 1995.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
As an ex employee in the petrochem sector I was involved with several projects based in Nigeria and I found this book a fascinating insight into Shell's behaviour at the corporate level. It is a well reasearced and comprehensive book detailing Shell's ruthless approach to enviromental issues and political activists in the Nigerian Delta. It is a devastating account of what is seen as one of the more 'friendly' multinationals, with a no holds barred expose of Shells manipulation of the government/military of Nigeria. A worthwhile read for anyone interested in enviromental issues, Nigeria's exploitation and anyone who believes Shell is enviromentally friendly.
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Format: Paperback
This book gives a good background of the issues raised by oil and gas exploration in Nigeria. Using Shell as a case study. The findings apply to all other Multinational Corporations in the area.
Any researcher on these questions should start with this book.
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Format: Paperback
A very angry book that really has it in for Shell, though admittedly for good reason. This charts the history of the exploitation of the Niger Delta mostly in terms of Shells involvement, but with honourable mentions to Agip, Elf (now Total) and Chevron.
It also begins with and interesting “Previously in Nigeria…” style chapter that sets up the effects of the colonial years and provides some interesting backstory to the area. The main grip with this book however is the one-sided nature of it placing the blame entirely on Shell and not really addressing the workings of the corrupt regimes it supported. As such it comes across like a well-informed rant.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Corporate imperialism at its worst 8 Aug. 2006
By Newton Ooi - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book provides an insightful history of how the Royal Shell Corporation and other oil companies have destroyed the environment and societies of the Niger Delta. The book starts with a short history of Western colonialism from the 1600s to the WWII. Starting with the discovery of oil post WWII, Shell Oil, along with Mobil, Texaco, Agip, BP and Chevron have replaced western governments as the de facto rulers of this region. The oil companies obtain oil from the Niger Delta, sell it, and use some of the profits to pay Nigerian government officials to safeguard their pipelines and oilwells in the country. The latter often includes torturing and killing locals who protest the pollution from oil drilling, flaring, and oil spills. All of this is glossed over by a multi-million dollar PR campaign by the Shell and the other oil companies.

The authors of this book document the history of environmental pollution in this area by citing specific oil spills, gas flares, and pipeline breaks. The authors also give a detailed history of the actions committed by Shell and its henchmen within the Nigerian goverment in order to suppress the natives of the Niger Delta. These include outright lies to the local people, stalling action by forming committees, intimidation of local leaders, etc...

Overall, this book shows the worst of corporate greed within the 20th century. The book is well argued and easy to read with lots of references. I highly recommend it.
9 of 25 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Over the top 23 Sept. 2007
By George Haines - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The one good thing I will say is that this is essentially the only source of information about Shell and the conflict in Nigeria.

Unfortunately, it comes across as agenda-driven and biased. The authors make Shell employees out to be the evil landlords in the 1920s movies who twirl their mustaches and tie orphans to railroad tracks.

Everyone knows that Shell has taken advantage of a corrupt, rent-seeking government and they have been dangerously irresponsible with the environment that was entrusted to them. Everyone knows that they are making money, corrupt politicians are making money and overall, Shell being in Nigeria is not helping average Nigerians much. This book takes those problems and pushes their intent, criminal culpability and predisposition to evil past the limits of believability.

The authors have vested interests in the power struggles and they are not in any way objective, nor do they try to be so. Their agenda is pushed hard from page one.

In addition to a cartoonish view of Shell and their employees as evil vampires, the native Ogoni people are made out to be the exalted Noble Savages found in 19th century literature.

When you read this book, then read the newspaper, something doesn't connect. The people who are fighting Shell are simply local and regional gangland-style powerbrokers who are most likely a bigger threat to the Ogoni than Shell could ever hope to be, even at their mustache-twirling worst. It is hard to reconcile the author's view of the anti-Shell movements as being non-violent (a term constantly used to describe indigenous reaction) when some of these groups kidnap toddlers and hold them for ransom.

On the positive side, I learned more about Ken Saro-Wiwa from reading this book, which was good, but not much else in the book helped. Outisde of learning the names of some of the groups and getting dates to research further, this book is a waste of time.
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