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The Trouble with Nigeria (Heinemann African Writers Series) Paperback – August 22, 1984

ISBN-13: 978-9966467805 ISBN-10: 0435906984 Edition: First UK edition
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Chinua Achebe was born in 1930 in the village of Ogidi in Eastern Nigeria. After studying medicine and literature at the University of Ibadan, he went to work for the Nigerian broadcasting company in Lagos. Things Fall Apart, his first novel was published in 1958. It sold over 2,000,000 copies, and has been translated into 30 languages. It was followed by No Longer at Ease, then Arrow of God (which won the first New Statesman Jock Campbell Prize), then A Man of the People (a novel dealing with post-independence Nigeria). Achebe has also written short stories and children's books, and Beware Soul Brother, a book of his poetry, won the Commonwealth Poetry Prize in 1972.Achebe has been at the Universities of Nigeria, Massachusetts and Connecticut, and among the many honours he has received are the award of a Fellowship of the Modern Language Association of America, and doctorates from the Universities of Stirling, Southampton and Kent. He followed Heinrich Boll, the Nobel prizewinner, as the second recipient of the Scottish Art's Council Neil Gunn Fellowship. In 1987, he was recognised in Nigeria with the Nigerian National Merit Award - the country's highest award for intellectual achievement.

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Product Details

  • Series: Heinemann African Writers Series
  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Heinemann; First UK edition edition (August 22, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0435906984
  • ISBN-13: 978-9966467805
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 4.4 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,526,039 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 24, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is a good little book about Nigeria's problems written by a Nigerian for Nigerians. The edition I read was one of the smallest books I've ever seen - even smaller than some of those Noam Chomsky Real Story tracts - which makes sense since it was published in Nigeria for readers who might not be able to afford paying $8.50 for a book. Therefore the reader should keep in mind the audience this book is aimed at: Achebe is writing to Nigerians about how they can clean up their country. He is not writing a serious book about the current troubles of Nigeria and how they can be solved on an international as well as domestic front: the lack of the words 'Shell Corporation' is conspicuous throughout the book.
That being said, this is a good way for a non-Nigerian to see how Nigeria's problems are perceived internally. Achebe is strong in his condemnation of tribalism, indiscipline and especially corruption and the prejudice agains the Igbo people. While condeming most current (this was written in 1983) politicians, he does praise the famous Aminu Kano and other politicians like Bola Ige, Bisi Onabanjo and Ernest Ikoli for putting the nation's interest first, not their own. Achebe looks forward to a time when such politicians would lead Nigerians, not divide them or waste their money needlessly.
Unfortunately, good leadership is not the only answer to Nigeria's problems. Nonetheless, this is still a worthy read.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Michael E. Evans on August 5, 2000
Format: Paperback
I first bought this book from a dusty bin in The Metropolitan Hotel in Calabar, Nigeria. I was there on a thirteen day missions trip during the bloody reign of Babangida and I had already experienced, first hand, the trouble with Nigeria. Achebe had been a favorite author since I read Things Fall Apart during my college days, but with this reading he became more than an author -- he became a friend and guide.
In 63 insightful pages he has written a manifesto for the recovery of people of African descent world-wide, of which I am one. He talks about the need for leadership, the scar of tribalism, and a variety of social ills that, as he puts it, Nigerians have relegated to small talk and I am sad to say African Americans have turned into comedy.
This is a must read for people of African descent and anyone else who would like to understand and help. Just recently, I had the privilege of meeting and interviewing the daughter of former Nigerian President Elect Abiola. Her father died while imprisoned a few years ago. Now a congresswoman herself, she has high hopes for Nigeria, but sees similar social ills here in American and agreed that Achebe's views are accurate and needful.
The trouble with Nigeria and African America is that not enough people have read and applied the principles discussed in The Trouble with Nigeria.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Denis Benchimol Minev on August 13, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Achebe, the great writer from Nigeria (author of THings Fall Apart and others), provides a passionate and smart analysis of the real problems preventing development in Nigeria.

This book is a bit political and local, meaning that if you don't know the characters you will not get about 10% of the book. He cites examples and tells stories that are clearly very familiar to locals, but not to outsiders. Such writing makes me believe that the audience aimed is in fact Nigerians rather than outsiders.

However, there are important lessons from outsiders, which are condensed into the less than 100 pages of this small book. Issues such as corruption and disrespect for laws are addressed from a very different standpoint than usual economists would. The ideas and concepts from this book are applicable to other countries facing difficulties reaching high standards of living. I, for one, wish someone had written such a book on Brazil. It is a quick read, worth your 2 hours.
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