Africa's Game of Follow the Leader

RADU SIGHETI / REUTERS

ANOTHER ORANGE REVOLUTION: Taking the fruit as their symbol, opponents defeated the constitution advocated by Kenya's President

For brutal honesty on the causes of Africa's woes, it's hard to beat Chinua Achebe's The Trouble with Nigeria. Written during the country's rowdy 1983 election campaign, the book, just 68 pages long, is an outpouring of frustration at Nigeria's problems. You only have to read the contents page to tap into Achebe's angst. The author — best known for Things Fall Apart, a powerful work of fiction that almost half a century after its release still tops lists of Africa's greatest novels — uses blunt prose to deliver the message in Trouble. Chapter headings telegraph his views: "False Image of...

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