A collection of the author’s journalistic writings between 2007-2013, this book provides both documentation of and reflection on the many faces of social inequality in Africa’s largest country, Nigeria. At the heart of the book’s reportage and analyses is the profound vision of the disturbing link between predation and “democracy,” primarily in Nigeria and Africa but with a trenchant insistence on the inevitable connections to many other regions of the contemporary world.
The topics covered in Against the Predators’ Republic are everyday affairs but the analytical rigor is very high and uncommon. With the eye for details of a master historical sociologist, the lucid prose of a seasoned writer, and the vast conceptual framing that only an astute political philosopher could command, Jeyifo has produced in this collection a richly informed social biography of a nation.
Tejumola Olaniyan, Louise Durham Mead Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison
In this remarkable collection of his journalistic writings, Biodun Jeyifo displays his enormous mastery of, and passion for, contemporary culture and politics throughout the African continent and the world. He brings to his compelling and accessible columns the depth of knowledge of the scholar, enabling him to see unfolding social and political events in their rich historical context. This book is a “must-read” for those of us who love the African continent and wish to stay abreast of developments in Africa’s largest country.
Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Alphonse Fletcher University Professor, Harvard University
In this wonderful book, Biodun Jeyifo provides an engrossing collection of his public essays. He seeks to separate predation from democracy. But how do you create a “cognitive map” of the hallucinatory? How do you capture in words the irrepressible “thing that is Nigeria”? Jeyifo splashes words on the canvas like an expressionist painter: “chaotic, anarchic energy and resilience” alongside “turbulence, misdirection and brutal inequities.” Then he slows the pace with beguiling haikus. He also describes key moments and personalities in Nigerian politics, thereby creating an analytical volume that is destined to become a standard reference work. He draws from a vast quiver: cultural theory, social criticism, lyricism, and humor. And quite often, the arrows strike their ever-moving target.
Richard Joseph, John Evans Professor of International Politics and History, Northwestern University
This book is part of the African World Series, edited by Toyin Falola, Jacob and Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair in the Humanities, University of Texas at Austin.