Naija Marxisms: Revolutionary Thought in Nigeria by Adam Mayer

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Since the 1940s, Marxist thought has developed considerably in Nigeria. Long gone are the days when Marxism meant imported pamphlets and a rootless foreign ideology. The history of “Naija” or Nigerian Marxism is also that of the country’s labor movement, its feminist movement, its social thought, and its political economy. Drawn from three years of research in Nigeria and elsewhere, Naija Marxisms breaks new ground in tracing the historical trajectories of leftist movements since the 1940s. Adam Mayer explores the international context of Nigerian Marxism and provides core chapters on key thinkers including Mokwugo Okoye, Ikenna Nzimiro, and Eskor Toyo, among many others.

Categories: Leadership, New Books


Editorial Reviews
“Examines Nigerian Marxist thinkers and assesses the Nigerian socialist movement as a major legitimizing factor despite its co-option and exploitation by military and civilian governments.”
, Journal of Economic Literature

“Naija Marxisms provides a comprehensive and accessible introduction to the history of Marxist thought in Nigeria. If you are angry about the current state of society in Nigeria, you should use this book to learn important lessons from those who struggled against similar challenges. As Isaac Newton said, we can see further because we stand on the shoulders of giants. This book provides you with access to the thoughts of the giants of Nigerian Marxism.”

, Andy Wynne, University of Leicester

“This is the first major book on the Nigerian Left, carefully revealing the socialist ideas of Marxist movements, along with their achievements and failures, all set in the larger context of a troubled country. Part learned and part inspirational, it successfully provides the historical and epistemological foundation to understand a powerful ideology that remains alive today, as well as the intellectual orientations and practical efforts of the consistently committed comrades. It pushes counterculture to the critical center, thereby supplying scholarly leadership that promises to unleash vibrant dialogues and even new forms of action.”

, Toyin Falola, University of Texas at Austin

“Mayer has done something of exceptional importance – he has rescued the history of Nigerian Marxism from scholarly and political oblivion. This first book-length history of Marxism and Marxist thought in Nigeria puts to rest some of the more pervasive cold war assumptions, which often cast the “giant of Africa” as a “communism free zone.” Mayer’s source base is rich and spectacularly diverse, his commitment to the subject of his study in all its overwhelming complexity is worthy of praise. As a former citizen of a socialist state Mayer is well-positioned to recognize and analyze the transnational nature of Nigerian Marxism. Nigeria’s maddening neoliberal contradictions, its deep rifts of class and economic inequality also generated an intense intellectual critique of global capitalism and brought to life several generations of Marxian thinkers and political activists whose massive work has finally found its historian.”
, Maxim Matusevich, Seton Hall University

“African marxism has been neglected not only in Westernized Universities but also by the Marxist Left. Here is a corrective to this trend. Adam Meyer takes seriously Nigerian Marxism and shows its unique contributions. This is a tour de force in many fields of scholarship. I highly recommend it!”

, Ramon Grosfoguel, University of California at Berkeley

“In Mayer’s capable hands, Naija Marxisms offers its readers a detailed map with which to navigate the fascinating and complex landscape of Marxism in Nigeria—past, present, and even futures still to come. A wonderful, insightful introduction to a topic that everyone interested in political change and social justice should know more about.”
, Imre Szeman, University of Alberta and co-editor of Contemporary Marxist Theory

“A splendid book – erudite, accessible, and entirely original. Mayer writes with authority on the incredible work of Nigerian Marxists, their scholarship and activism, largely ignored by Western scholarship and in contemporary histories of Nigeria.”
, Leo Zeilig, author of Lumumba and Frantz Fanon

“Mayer has taken up a huge task, which helps to put the rich canvass of the Nigerian Left in sharp historic relief, to a global audience. Considering the breadth and depth of its hitherto largely unexplored subject matter, it is an excellent effort which is concisely articulated.”
, Baba Aye, National Convener, United Action of Democracy (UAD)

“Three-plus decades in the aftermath of post-colonial euphoria and a quarter century after the implosion of the Soviet Union, Mayer’s work on Nigerian ‘Marxisms’ is a much welcomed contribution to the study of Africa’s largest country.”
, William Hansen, American University of Nigeria, Yola

“Naija Marxisms is a compelling exploration of leftist/Marxist ideas in Nigerian economics, political history, unions, social development and the arts. The scope and depth of the work is simply astonishing. In a style that is both informative and witty, Mayer’s work gives us deep insight into the forces that have shaped Nigeria into the state it is today.”
, Michael Erickson, Webster University
About the Author
Adam Mayer is assistant professor of international relations at Webster University, Thailand.


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