LIBYA: The People's Revolution

"The hour for revolutionary action has struck, and the purge has begun."

With these ringing phrases, Libyan Strongman Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, 31, last April unleashed what he calls a "People's Revolution." Designed to expand his military dictatorship into a nationwide grass-roots movement, it so far has spawned more than 400 "people's committees" in villages, towns, factories and schools—and more are being formed daily. TIME Correspondent Wilton Wynn visited Libya and cabled this assessment of Gaddafi's most recent efforts to transform his oil-rich but backward nation:

Driving into Tripoli from the airport, you encounter some of the enormous changes that have taken...

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