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September 25, 2009
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v2.1 Reference

Colonialism and Violence in Nigeria

Colonialism and Violence in Nigeria looks closely at the conditions that created a legacy of violence in Nigeria. Toyin Falola examines violence as a tool of domination and resistance, however unequally applied, to get to the heart of why Nigeria has not built a successful democracy. Falola's analysis centers on two phases of Nigerian history: the last quarter of the 19th century, when linkages between violence and domination were part of the British conquest; and the first half of the 20th century, which was characterized by violent rebellion and the development of a national political consciousness. This important book emphasizes the patterns that have been formed and focuses on how violence and instability have influenced Nigeria today.

About the Author

Toyin Falola is University Distinguished Teaching Professor at The University of Texas at Austin. He is editor (with Matt D. Childs) of The Yoruba Diaspora in the Atlantic World (IUP, 2005); (with Kevin D. Roberts) of The Atlantic World: 1450–2000 (IUP, 2008); and (with Joel E. Tishken and Akíntúndé Akínyemí) of Sàngó in Africa and the African Diaspora (IUP, 2009).


"This work serves as a prequel to Falola's earlier Violence in Nigeria (CH, Feb'99, 36-3580), a somber look at religious violence in the late 20th century. The current work deals with political and other public mayhem, with a chapter on gendered violence. Falola (Texas) describes late-19th-century British conquests, the role of force in sustaining colonial rule, taxation conflicts (a notably gendered issue during the 1929 Women's War in southeastern Nigeria), and labor struggles and riots and concludes that colonial-era violence severely scarred Nigerian political culture. A seemingly surprising chapter on verbal violence is valid in encompassing threats, implications of force, and assertive 1940s nationalism. The main argument is familiar: foreign conquest and domination lie at the root of the problem. This is true enough but implicitly downplays the impact of precolonial violence, including indigenous state building and slave raiding. The book ends in the early 1950s, short of independence. This gap leaves hope that Falola will complete a trilogy assessing developments from the 1950s through the 1970s, including the tragic Biafra War. This book is another strong contribution from Africa's most prolific historian. Summing Up: Recommended. College and large public libraries, undergraduates and above. —Choice"— T. P. Johnson, University of Massachusetts, Boston, July 2010

"Toyin Falola has worked extensively on both the impact of colonial rule and the role of violence in structuring social relations in Nigeria, and [this book] clearly stands at the intersection of two significant areas of his research.... [A] very welcome addition to the literature on Nigeria.2010, Volume 51"—The Journal of African History

"Overall, this book brings a refreshing angle to a familiar subject. . . . The framework of violence particularly allows us to see both the power and limitations of the colonial state and in so doing, marks an important contribution to the broader scholarship on British imperialism in Africa. December 2010"—American Historical Review

"Colonialism and Violence in Nigeria is an indispensable resource for lecturers, and will endure as a useful synthesis for researchers and devotees of Nigerian history. Vol. 43, no. 2, 2010"—Intl. Journal of African Historical Studies

"This book is another strong contribution from Africa's most prolific historian. . . . Recommended.July 2010"—Choice

"This is an important topic, and it would take a scholar of Falola's prodigious range to do it justice. Indeed, the volume he has produced provides a useful and readable overview to the problem. July, 2010"—H-Net Reviews

"Colonial violence treated from the point of view of the African victims/colonized, not from the self-serving perspective of European/British conquerors and colonizers."—Felix Ekechi, Kent State University

"Well-researched, well-written with its richly textured and nuanced analysis, it is the first study to attempt a general and cohesive overview of the connections between violence and imperialism in colonial Nigeria."—Funso Afolayan, University of New Hampshire
Indiana University Press

9780253221193 : colonialism-and-violence-in-nigeria-falola
Paperback / softback
256 Pages
$24.95 USD

Other Titles by Toyin Falola

African Refugees

Toyin Falola, Olajumoke Yacob-Haliso
Jan 2023 - Indiana University Press
$50.00 USD - Hardback

Igbo in the Atlantic World

edited by Toyin Falola, Raphael Chijioke Njoku, with contributions by John K. Thornton, Kenneth Morgan, A.E. Afigbo, Gloria Chuku, Nwando Achebe, Hannah N. Eby Chukwu, Gendolyn Midlo Hall, Paul E. Lovejoy, Douglas B. Chambers, Chima J....
Sep 2016 - Indiana University Press
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Encyclopedia of the Yoruba

edited by Toyin Falola, Akintunde Akinyemi
Jun 2016 - Indiana University Press
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$50.00 USD - Paperback / softback

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Dotun Ayobade
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Maritime Culture and Everyday Life in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Coastal Ghana

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Independent Africa

Emmanuel Kwaku Akyeampong
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