Book: Jonny Steinberg - Little Liberia

The civil war that raged in Liberia in the ’80s and ’90s forced thousands to flee to New York, where they congregated on Staten Island in an area now called Little Liberia.

SA writer Jonny Steinberg spent two years exploring this community who, far from escaping the war back home, took their rivalries and tribalism with them.

He centres his story on two fascinating men who became bitter rivals for political control of Little Liberia – Rufus Arkoi, an entrepreneur who founded a soccer club and built it into an empire which at its height fielded more than 50 teams; and Jacob Massaquoi, a political activist who was left physically disabled and emotionally scarred by the war.

It’s brilliantly written and a deeply personal, moving and insightful look into the lives of these men, their country and the reasons there may never be peace in a land so deeply divided.

A book you’ll never forget.

Little Liberia by Jonny Steinberg

Jonathan Ball, R165

Rating: 4/5