The Rubber Republic: A Work Of Fiction

A Book Authored By Theodore Hodge

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia
May 26, 2016



Dear friends and readers:

For many years I’ve had the great opportunity of working with the Perspective Magazine. This publication has served a great purpose over the years, especially during the most turbulent times in our recent past --- this magazine was there to inform, update, analyze and critique important and ordinary events especially relating to our country, Liberia, and the African Community of Nations.

I had the opportunity, indeed an honor, to work with the editorial staff, including the following:  Our grand elder, Siahyonkron Nyanseor, the publisher; Mr. Abraham Williams, the Editor-in-Chief, and my friend, Mr. George Nubo, the Managing Editor and J. Kpanneh Doe. Alongside these great pillars and cornerstones of the organization were other notable contributors, such as: The late Tarty Teh, a tireless writer, advocate and agitator, Nat Gbessagee, James Harris, Charles Sunwabe, Emmanuel Dolo and Abdulaye Dukule, just to name a few.

Over the years, we also had notable contributions from such literary giants and thinkers as Dr. Boima Fahnbulleh, the indefatigable Dr. Elwood Dunn and the indomitable Dr. Sakui Malakpa. I must make it a point to stress that this is just a small sample; over the years, the pages of the magazine were graced by other intellectuals too numerous to name here.

I joined this magnificent group and became a contributor and staff writer for many years. It is perhaps fair to say I gave it my best and in return got some invaluable experience and exposure. Now, many will agree that the name Theodore Hodge is a well-known name among our readers. I have received many praises and accolades during this period, but I’ve also been the target of some caustic criticism and opposition. Like they say in this business, “You win some, you lose some”, and so it has been.

Now I’ve literally turned a new page. I’ve written and published a book, The Rubber Republic. Although the book is a work of fiction, it encompasses the meticulous history, politics and sociology of a place the reader might recognize. All works of fiction eventually remind the reader of particular places, people and events; this one is no exception.

So thanks for reading my articles over the years and putting up with my temperament, idiosyncrasy and sometimes highly opinionated perspectives. Now I hope I can count on your loyal readership to support this new endeavor. Remember as you read along, this is a work of fiction; it comes entirely from my imagination, although it is fair to say that the story is also based on many actual life experiences. I take all blame and criticism for the finished work. I invite your viewpoints on these very pages. Thank you for reading; I appreciate your patronage and support.

Yours truly,

Theodore Hodge

"The Rubber Republic covers two decades, the late 1950s through the 1970s. Set mainly in West Africa, the story takes the reader to the United States and a few other stops along the way. The story is mainly about the intriguing and fantastic lives of two young men, Yaba-Dio Himmie and Yaba-Dio Kla, who leave their parents' farm in search of enlightenment and adventure. But the story is also about their country, the Republic of Seacoast, and a giant American Rubber conglomerate, The Waterstone Rubber Plantation Company. The two boys meet and befriend an American expatriate, Christian Snyder who quickly becomes their benefactor. They assume his surname and take the names Harry and Charlie Snyder. He becomes inflicted with the malaria virus and returns home to Akron, Ohio, where he quickly dies, but not before leaving them as beneficiaries of his will. They will not get to know that for some time to come. Against all odds, they succeed astronomically. One marries into a rich and prominent family and begins to rise to fame. He puts personal ambition above all else; even family becomes expendable. The other joins the army and moves rapidly along the ranks, yet he remains the epitome of humility and puts family, principle and duty above self. The president rules the country with an iron fist and takes nepotism to a new low. One of his brothers is the Finance Minister and the other the Senate Pro Tem. Two of his sons are legislators; the elitism is astounding! After managing the regime through Machiavellian means of force, threats, intimidation, bribery and chicanery, the old man dies and is succeeded by his elder son; but the mystique begins to crack. A charismatic freedom fighter and rebel rises in opposition to the government and the once docile and complacent masses awaken. The government runs into trouble both on the domestic and international fronts."

Here is the link to Amazon where the book is made available:

Emmanuel Dolo
Congratulations. I wish you big success on this new sojourn.

Emmanuel Dolo
Emmanuel Dolo at 03:54PM, 2016/05/28.
Kandajaba Zoebohn  Zoedjallah
We sense the artistic and intellectual value of The Rubber Republic! We shall definitely grab our copy and enjoy this History and Social Theory masterpiece which seems to be centering on such concepts as mentality, hegemony, and resistance!

The gifted writer or tireless researcher is devoted to the attainment of clear objectives, namely his or her excellent intellectual performance in the given intellectual market place of ideas, or the authorship of a book taken its respected place within the given national literature and anthology! And this is precisely what this fireblade writer Theodore Hodge must be reflecting in The Rubber Republic!

Congratulations Theo!
Kandajaba Zoebohn Zoedjallah at 03:22PM, 2016/05/31.
sylvester moses
“The president rules the country with an iron fist and takes nepotism to a new low. One of his brothers is the Finance Minister and the other the Senate Pro Tempore”. And since Mr. Hodge tells us that his novel is set in a place we’re familiar with (Liberia), between the fifties and seventies, we can assume that the quote is an allusion to the late Tolbert. Of course, we congratulate the author's effort, and understand that a creative writer is free to pen historical fiction. But what’s whimsical about this partly introspective venture into bad governance is that the vices are topical, and reportedly worse under the UP – led government of President Sirleaf. And, ironically, Mr. Hodge has been one of the current vampire’s most eloquent critic, which makes one wonder about the reason for his wallowing in some flashback.

Be it as it may, a foreword is an advertisement hoping to interest potential readers in buying and reading the book, and most likely this work would make an interesting read. None the less, the little revealed didn’t encourage us to want to search for “Thee Rubber Republic. We will wait for the sequel which hopefully may cover 1980 to 2015 – a period relevant to the genocidal war. Which, by the way, killed about 250, 000 people, caused billions of dollars damage to infrastructure and private properties, and mental trauma to millions for (as it turned out) the financial gains of less than two thousand Liberians.

And, needless to say, any response that nobody is stopping others from writing their versions of the tragic Liberian saga - real or imagined – won’t wash. Those who put their thoughts in the public space even imaginatively owe readers a modicum of “truth”, which English Romantic poet John Keats equates with “beauty”.
sylvester moses at 03:50PM, 2016/05/31.
Kandajaba Zoebohn  Zoedjallah
Mr. Moses,

"The farther backward", it is said "we can look, the farther forward we are likely to see!" Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is a remnant of those who cslled the shots between the 50s and the 70s! Besides, the setting is not just Liberia in particular, but rather, West Africa in toto.

Or do we want such as from Emmanuel Dolo or Alex Redd where both men furtively try to conceal the rotteness of the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf UP led government under the guise of "academic writing" if we may quote Emmanuel Dolo when he was caught in his attemt to put "the bad governance of his pay master in white coat suit?
Kandajaba Zoebohn Zoedjallah at 01:45AM, 2016/06/01.
sylvester moses
Mr. Zoedjallah, we like the quote "The farther backward", it is said "we can look, the farther forward we are likely to see!” It’s laconic, yet packed like a dynamite. Our concern though about “The Rubber Republic” is that an author of great promise is indulging in escapism in the face of ongoing unconscionable fraud, arrogant apathy, unaccountable governance, and the resulting life – denying pervasive poverty. After all, EJS was supposed to be our Angela Davis, why is she and CO raping the land while hundreds of thousands of Liberians - who fled from the civil war they brought - are suffering as permanent refugees in Ghana, and elsewhere?

This is a vicious cycle.

Another group of ruling elites caused wars of attrition and ethnic cleansing which led to the fleeing of southeasterners. Those caught by the Frontier Force were shipped by government to Spanish plantations in present day Guinea Bissau supposedly as migrant workers (euphemism for slavery). So granted that the explosive quote makes a significant point, an overriding poetic sensibility is empathy – empathy for humanity, and all living things including planetary bodies. Unarguably, the millions of our suffering poor seem to not only be on the margins, but they could also face extinction. Which is a worthy subject of imaginative literature in the vein of John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath”. And on any given day, like his point of view or not, Theodore Hodge is up to such a task, we believe.
sylvester moses at 05:48AM, 2016/06/01.
Abena Cuffy
This piece of literary work might be a political allegory,with Liberia depicted as "Rubber Republic." "Rubber Republic" has all the rubber policies of nothingness,except dry face stealing and looting of public resources. Liberia,a rubber-stamp legislature, executive and judiciary- all in a mess of hustle and self-aggrandizement.will purchase one copy of the "Rubber Republic."
Abena Cuffy at 04:23PM, 2016/06/01.
Kandajaba Zoebohn Zoedjallah
Mr. Moses,

Your "concern" or we shall say curiosity is legitimate and well taken! For indeed, despite the truism that "The farther backward", it is said "we can look, the farther forward we are likely to see"; THE CONSPICUOUS ABSENSE OF THE PERIOD 1980 - 2016 in The Rubber Republic legitimizes your "concern" or as we may put it your curiosity!

Most especially so when Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is fond of "buying harsh critics of" when she just cannot destroy them! Well, we shall give Mr. Hodge the benefit of the doubt By grabbing our copy of "The Rubber Republic" now and await the second edition of "The Rubber Republic" to read about the period 1980 - 2015. At lest "the supporting cast" manuscripts written By this "author of promise" are fresh on his desk!

With this in mind, Mr. Moses,we are indeed confident that just as all (including this author of great promise Theodore Hodge) are aware of the fundamental rights of Mr. Hodge´s freedom of choice, all (including Mr. Hodge) are aware that Mr. Hodge has the liability-responsibility, the capacity-responsibility, and indeed the causal-responsibility to INTELLECTUALLY DEMONSTRATE that:

"those who put their thoughts in the public space even imaginatively owe readers a modicum of “truth”, vis a vis the conspicuous absense of the period 1980-2016 in the first edition of "The Rubber Republic"!!!
Kandajaba Zoebohn Zoedjallah at 03:49AM, 2016/06/02.
Scott Mandeh

Congratulations Theo!
Scott Mandeh at 05:23PM, 2016/06/05.
James Youboty
Welcome to the club, THodge. I can't wait to get a copy. Again congratulations!!! We need more scholars in Liberia..
James Youboty at 08:09AM, 2016/06/24.
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