Books: Baba Wa Taifa

WE MUST RUN WHILE THEY WALK: A Portrait of Africa's Julius Nyerere

by WILLIAM EDGETT SMITH

296 pages. Random House. $7.95.

Julius Nyerere is in some ways an improbable haba wa taifa (father of a nation). A scholarly and somehow puckishly Gandhian man, he led Tanganyika to remarkably peaceful independence from Britain in 1961 and then presided over its union with the island of Zanzibar in 1964, when the two together became Tanzania.

"I think I remained much more philosophical than political," Nyerere has said. "I wouldn't tackle things like discrimination. I just said, 'It is wrong for one people to govern another,...

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