The Biafran War: The Struggle for Modern Nigeria

The Biafran War: The Struggle for Modern Nigeria


This book is an outstanding account and analysis of the Nigerian Civil War; The Biafran war was truly a ‘brother’s war’, which saw family and friends o opposing sides.

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International media coverage in the 1960s and early 1970s represented the Biafran War, in which the state of Biafra attempted to secede from the Nigerian Federation, as a grand humanitarian disaster, characterized by sustained conflict, starvation and genocide. Using interviews and newly-released archival material, Michael Gould questions this depiction, examining the role of foreign parties in the conflict and the impact of propaganda upon its international reception both during and after the war. Envisaged initially by both sides as a short conflict, the war confounded all expectations, stretching on for four years. It was a ‘brother’s war’, one which divided families, and was characterized overwhelmingly by both sides’ reluctance to enter into hostilities. This book seeks to answer some of the most fundamental questions surrounding the conflict, including how this avoidable conflict came about, why the war became so drawn-out and how the leadership of the opposing Generals Ojukwu, who led the Biafran revolt and Gowon, who was President of the Nigerian Federation, defined the conflict. In the process, Gould offers a radical reappraisal of the many entrenched conceptions which currently surround the conflict. This book will be essential reading for all students of African history and politics, and post-colonial studies.

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Michael Gould


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