This book looks at the very different responses to the African predicament from prominent writers like Soyinka, Ngugi and Achebe, to the military men in power and the students who defy repression. It suggests that intervention by international agencies who claim to promote 'democracy' and 'empower the youth' may reinforce authoritarian attitudes and structures.
The essays in the book give voice to the outrage, ridicule and revolutionary ardour, as well as to the reformist caution, of those directly affected. The shallow pretences of those in power and the hypocrisy and arrogance of the foreign helpers are also exposed.
The book concludes that being an 'insider' or an 'outsider' is less important than being committed to listening to ordinary people.