World: The Second Revolution

If ever a revolution swept a continent, it was Black Africa's independence movement, which in one wild decade transformed 28 European colonies into nations. This year, for better or for worse, the continent has taken off on its second revolution, and at a pace even faster than the first. Military coups have overthrown six of the new regimes within the past four months.

The concept of military rule may seem repugnant to the world's established democracies, even when the generals replace such an unfriendly fellow as Ghana's Kwame Nkrumah. It is not necessarily evil in Africa, however. Nigeria, the continent's most populous...

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