A Man of the People (Penguin Modern Classics) and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more

Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
Trade in Yours
For a 0.25 Gift Card
Trade in
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

Start reading A Man of the People (Penguin Modern Classics) on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

A Man of the People (Penguin Modern Classics) [Paperback]

Chinua Achebe , Karl Maier
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
Price: 6.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
You Save: 3.00 (30%)
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Only 5 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Want it tomorrow, 28 Aug.? Choose Express delivery at checkout. Details


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition 4.35  
Hardcover --  
Paperback 6.99  
Audio, CD --  
Unknown Binding --  
Audio Download, Unabridged 8.75 or Free with Audible.co.uk 30-day free trial
Trade In this Item for up to 0.25
Trade in A Man of the People (Penguin Modern Classics) for an Amazon Gift Card of up to 0.25, which you can then spend on millions of items across the site. Trade-in values may vary (terms apply). Learn more

Book Description

1 Nov 2001 Penguin Modern Classics
As Minister for Culture, the Honourable M. A. Nanga is 'a man of the people', as cynical as he is charming, and a roguish opportunist. At first, the contrast between Nanga and Odili, a former pupil who is visiting the ministry, appears huge. But in the 'eat-and-let-eat' atmosphere, Odili's idealism soon collides with his lusts - and the two men's personal and political tauntings threaten to send their country into chaos. Published, prophetically, just days before Nigeria's first attempted coup in 1966, A Man of the People is an essential part of his body of work dealing with modern African history.

Frequently Bought Together

A Man of the People (Penguin Modern Classics) + Anthills of the Savannah (Penguin Modern Classics) + Arrow of God (Penguin Modern Classics)
Price For All Three: 20.97

Buy the selected items together

Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Re-issue edition (1 Nov 2001)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 0141186895
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141186894
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 20 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 56,288 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description


'A bitter yet funny satire... probably the best book to come out of West Africa.' Anthony Burgess "The Founding Father of the African novel in English" - The Guardian

About the Author

Chinua Achebe was born in Nigeria in 1930. He was raised in the large village of Ogidi, one of the first centers of Anglican missionary work in Eastern Nigeria, and graduated from University College, Ibadan. His early career in radio ended abruptly in 1966, when he left his post as Director of External Broadcasting in Nigeria during the national upheaval that led to the Biafran War. Achebe joined the Biafran Ministry of Information and represented Biafra on various diplomatic and fund-raising missions. He was appointed Senior Research Fellow at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and began lecturing widely abroad. For over fifteen years, he was the Charles P. Stevenson Professor of Languages and Literature at Bard College. He was Professor at the David and Marianna Fisher University and Professor of Africana studies at Brown University. Chinua Achebe wrote over twenty books - novels, short stories, essays and collections of poetry - and received numerous honours from around the world, including the Honourary Fellowship of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, as well as honourary doctorates from more than thirty colleges and universities. He was also the recipient of Nigeria's highest award for intellectual achievement, the Nigerian National Merit Award. In 2007, he won the Man Booker International Prize for Fiction. Chinua Achebe died in 2013.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

3 star
2 star
1 star
4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great intro to writings of Achebe 26 July 2008
This is a great book and a perfect introduction to the writing of Achebe if you are unaccustomed to him. It is not written too simply (something I have been known to criticise the writer for), and is full of wit and has an almost allegorical sub-text. Although set in the 1960s, the beauty of this book (paradoxically)is that it is virtually timeless insofar as the notion/persona of the 'big man' (personified here as Chief Nanga) and the corruption and havoc that these types wreak on Africa is still sadly with us today. However without ruining the plot, what I particularly like is that it shows what can happen when these people are confronted. Highly recommended.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Satire 40 Years On... 7 Mar 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Growing up in Nigeria, I had to read Chinua Achebe's books as part of the literature curriculum. At the time, I found his works to be mildly interesting; I did not think that they were arresting enough to merit further study. How wrong I was!

A Man of the People novel is set in Nigeria in the 1960's. The country had just gained independence from Great Britain, and elected its first post-colonial government, which is run by the proverbial `Big Men'. One of such `Big Men' is Chief the Honourable M. A. Nanga. Chief Nanga is not just any ordinary government hack; he is a charismatic, gifted politician who has a way with the people - and especially with the ladies. He is part of an entrenched, corrupt coterie that enrich themselves while in office, blatantly rig elections and silence opposition without recourse to law. Yet, Chief Nanga is loved by his constituents for his largesse, as he doles out the spoils of office to `his people'.

Enter Odili Samalu, a young well-educated, idealist. Odili, a former pupil of Chief Nanga's, is favoured by the Chief. Nanga invites Odili to the big city, where Odili spends time in Nanga's sumptuous home, is introduced into high society and generally has a jolly good time. Yes, Odili our austere idealist enjoys the high life that his relationship with Nanga offers him. However, Odili and Nanga quarrel over a woman and Odili determines to run against Nanga in the upcoming elections.

Achebe uses the ensuing David and Goliath contest to satirise the crass corruption of Nigeria's ruling elite. Whether using private militias to silence (or kill) political opponents or awarding inflated government contracts to themselves, Nigeria's government, personified in Chief Nanga, give corruption a new meaning, with the acquiescence of the people.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
"A Man of the People" is an excellent book. It is set in the 1960s, just after Nigeria had been granted independence from Britain.
It follows the young, idealistic Mr Odili, a former student of Chief Nanga, MA, who has become a leading politician under a brutal Nigerian regime. Achebe's novel follows Odili as he uncovers corruption and attempts to take on his former master, Nanga, by forming his own party and challenging for a place in government.
"A Man of the People" is a very witty book, full of clever swipes at political systems (which can be related not just to African but the whole world) and is very intelligently written. Most of all, the ending will probably stay with the reader for a very long time.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional Writing... 9 Dec 2003
By A Customer
This book has some of the most clear, and refined writing I have ever read in the pages of a novel. Very descriptive, with a firm grasp of African society. This is a very political book, and while it doesn't have the rough-and-tumble of an action novel, or even a substantial climax, it is riddled with injustices, pain, humour, and enough sexual innenuendos to make it a worthwhile read.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Deconstruction of careerist politics 14 Jun 2006
Achebe's `AMOTP' is a side-swipe at careerist politicians. It contrasts M.A. Nanga, a populist politician, with the political aspirations of Odili, a former protégé of Nanga's who attempts to get involved in politics without getting involved in the financial and sexual corruption he witnesses in other politicians, and while maintaining the pure ideology he set out to espouse. Nanga is something of a local hero in Odili's home town, but the more Odili sees of Nanga's lifestyle, the more he becomes disillusioned with the man he once idolised. However, Odili also desires the consumer goods and beautiful women that Nanga's power attracts, and the ease with which they are available proves difficult to resist. By the end, Odili has been drawn into life as a careerist politician, and the contrast between himself and Nanga isn't as great as he would have liked.

`AMOTP' is a timeless tale concerning the uses and abuses of democracy, and what can happen to the `men of the people' elected to represent us. Although the story is set in Africa, it is just as relevant to other cultures. The sexual and financial shenanigans of our own politicians are reflected in Nanga's behaviour, and the gradual erosion of Odili's idealism is also all too familiar. Achebe tells his story with wit and an easy writing style that made `AMOTP' a pleasure to read. An excellent political satire, and well worth reading.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category