A Man of the People by Chinua Achebe

By Chinua Achebe

By means of the popular writer of Things Fall Apart, this novel foreshadows the Nigerian coups of 1966 and indicates the colour and vivacity in addition to the violence and corruption of a society making its personal manner among the 2 worlds.

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Sample text

We may deny it [but] . . that’s how we play our politics out, and to connect that . . semiotic world to . . issues of political economy in this new kind of dialectic I think is something terribly effective. 124 Hence the Billionaires polished their “surfaces” and protected their brand image, by monitoring the semiotics and maintaining high production values— Irony, Humor, Spectacle 45 professionally printed placards and banners, elegant costumes, witty street performance. Other recent examples of spectacular or counter-traditional protest abound.

I replied that I was grateful that the Billionaires had graciously accepted my presence at their planning meetings, street actions, and social events, and I understood that being observed by an anthropologist might make people a little uneasy. Boyd replied, “I don’t think it did; I think we kind of enjoyed it mostly; it was kind of novel, amusing, bizarre, and you know like a feather in our cap kind of feeling . . [it was] odd in a kind of good way. . ” Some told me they were pleased that I, unlike many journalists with whom they talked, was interested in the organization’s history and origins, including its early recruitment of members from other organizations, and its pre-2004 organizational identities, rather than just their latest events.

How can you be really serious and effective about your politics because horrible injustices are being committed by your government in your name and your tax dollars? But then also this 36 Irony, Humor, Spectacle is all a dream, in a way, this is all a charade, this is all a great wonders mystery, and so how do you bring those things together? What some of us end up doing is finding these strange and beguiling and outside-the-box and provocative and playful and somewhat prophetic—and at times utopian-ish—[modes of expression that] connect with people in a very human way .

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