The essays in this book study responses to 'the African predicament'. They draw on a diversity of sources, including prominent writers such as Soyinka, NguI giI and Achebe; military men in power; and students who defy repression. The volume suggests that intervention by international agencies claiming to promote 'democracy' and to 'empower the youth' may only reinforce authoritarian attitudes and structures. Instead, it gives voice to the outrage, ridicule, revolutionary ardour and reformist caution of those directly involved. It also exposes the shallow pretences of those in power, and concludes that being an 'insider' or an 'outsider' is less important than being committed to listening to ordinary people.