Chinua Achebe

A Man of the People


"The trouble with our new nation... was that none of us had been indoors long enough... We had all been in the rain together until yesterday. Then a handful of us – the smart and the lucky and hardly ever the best – had scrambled for the one shelter our former rulers left, and had taken it over and barricaded themselves in. And from within they sought to persuade the rest through numerous loudspeakers... that all argument should cease and the whole people speak with one voice."

So Chinua Achebe captures the mood of Nigeria that is the backdrop of this novel. Odili, the narrator, is a young intellectual whose superior attitude toward local politics and culture is due less to incorruptibility than to his own naïveté. Chief Nanga, Odili's former teacher, is a bush politician abruptly elevated to Minister of Culture. The conflict between old ways and new is dramatized etween the two men, who fight over women as well as politics. The book ends in a military coup foreshadowing the Nigerian revolution of 1966. A vivacious and simultaneously violent story of a society making its way between worlds.

Soft cover.

Edition: 1967.

Condition: Very good vintage.

Measures ~4"x7". 141 pages.