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The Trouble with Nigeria (Heinemann African Writers Series) First UK edition Edition
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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.
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.
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.
I think people should definitely consider reading this book. It is a quick read (only 63 pages) and it is very influential. Along with being short, it is for the most part easy to follow and it gives a lot of details, facts, and his opinions of what is going wrong in Nigeria. The only thing I didn't like about this book was some parts in the last chapter when Achebe almost went too much in detail. In the beginning it was really interesting to me, but in the last chapter, the information and facts were harder to soak in. Even though I didn't like parts of the last chapter, I still recommend this book and I think that it is worth it to read it.
Compared to Things Fall Apart, this book is a lot shorter and is a little bit denser. They are both quick reads, and I think if Nigeria interests you, then it is worth it to read both of them. All of the books that I have read by Achebe so far have impressed me, and I think that he is not only an influential writer, but his writing is also fun to read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A concise and relevant book. Although it was written in the very early 80s, the points covered in the book are totally relevant today (2015). Read morePublished 6 months ago by Roger Ramjet
Achebe's final book "There was a Country" drew a firestorm of reactions from Nigerians who were mostly acting on tribal impulses - even when a good number of them had not... Read morePublished on January 25, 2014 by Chris Emeka