A Swamp Full of Dollars  by Michael  Peel
(I B Tauris, 2009)

A Swamp Full of Dollars

by Michael Peel

Nigeria is a country where petroleum and polio have both boomed, where small villages challenge giant oil companies, and scooter drivers run their own mini-state. The crude-rich Niger Delta region at the heart of it all is a troublespot as hot as the local pepper soup.

Through a host of characters, from the Area Boy gangsters of Lagos to the civil war general with a penchant for 19th century British poetry, Peel tells the story of this extraordinary country and how it has been shaped by the oil that pumps through western cities. Weaving reportage, oral history and investigative journalism, Peel illustrates the dark side of the global oil economy, and the unseen consequences of reckless resource extraction.


  • Guardian First Book Award (Shortlisted)


A fascinating insight into Africa's wild west.”
- Giles Foden
A compelling and well-written account. In this long awaited book, Peel has told the history of Nigeria and oil in a way that makes this important subject accessible to all. In doing so, he has done a service to everyone who is interested in development and in Africa.”
- Joseph E. Stiglitz, Nobel Laureate, Economics, 2001
…a compelling journey through the oil-filled chaos of present-day Nigeria.”
- Louis Theroux