The Biafra Story: The Making of an African Legend

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Pen & Sword Military, 2007 - History - 291 pages
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The Nigerian civil war of the late 1960s was one of the first occasions when Western consciences were awakened and deeply affronted by the level of the suffering and the scale of atrocity being played out in the African continent. This was thanks not just to advances in communication technology but to the courage and journalistic skills of correspondents such as Frederick Forsyth, who had already earned an enviable reputation for tenacity and accuracy working for Reuters and the BBC. In The Biafra Story, his first book, the Author took a strongly Biafran stance, revealing the depth of the British Government's active involvement which many would have far preferred to remain secret. Genocide is not a pretty word but there is no other way to describe General Gowon's treatment of the Biafran people, facilitated by a ready supply of British arms and advice. That Forsyth had the courage to take on The Establishment surprised none who knew him then; today his robust common-sense views strike a cord with those who tire of politicalcorrectitude. ??Still relevant in terms of the lessons that it offers, many of which are, tragically, still unlearnt, this powerful book is also significant as it launched Frederick Forsyth on his hugely successful literary career by providing him with the background material for Dogs of War. The combination of dramatic events and shocking exposures combined with the author's forthright and perceptive style makes The Biafra Story as compelling a read today as when it was first written.

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In my 5 years of reading and studying African and particularly Nigerian history i have not come across any other book that gave a detailed account of what transpired between the various people living in the country, their various political strategies, alliances, coup and counter-coup, civil war, bravery, valour in its finest and betrayal.
Reading the book feels like a movie at times.
Must buy for every Nigerian and African scholar.
 

Contents

The Background
3
The Coup that Failed
26
The Man Called Ironside
34
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Frederick Forsyth was born in Ashford, England on August 25, 1938. At age seventeen, he decided he was ready to start experiencing life for himself, so he left school and traveled to Spain. While there he briefly attended the University of Granada before returning to England and joining the Royal Air Force. He served with the RAF from 1956 to 1958, earning his wings when he was just nineteen years old. He left the RAF to become a reporter for the Eastern Daily Press, Reuters News Agency, and the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). While with the BBC, he was sent to Nigeria to cover an uprising in the Biafra region. As he learned more about the conflict, he became sympathetic to the rebel cause. He was pulled from Nigeria and reassigned to London when he reported this viewpoint. Furious, he resigned and returned to Nigeria as a freelance reporter, eventually writing The Biafra Story and later, Emeka, a biography of the rebel leader Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu. Upon his return to England in 1970, Forsyth began writing fiction. His first novel, The Day of the Jackal, won an Edgar Allan Poe award from the Mystery Writers of America. His other works include The Odessa File, The Dogs of War, The Fourth Protocol, Devil's Alternative, The Negotiator, The Deceiver, The Fist of God, Icon, The Veteran, Avenger, The Afghan, and The Cobra.

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