A Man of the People (1966) represented the more contemporary, sophisticated stance toward which Achebe, along with his native West Africa, has progressed. This is one of his earlier novels, close in both theme and texture to Things Fall Apart (1959), dealing with a primitive Nigerian village in the '20's when the ""masked spirit of today,"" the white man, appears and is to be appeased. But not by Ezeulu, ""the arrow in the bow of his God"" and the indomitable Chief Priest. Priest of six villages, presides over the abusive quarrelling of his wives and children, the factious disputes of his people, and now faces the unmasked spirit of Captain Winterbottom, a very limited and intransigent District Officer trying to put a road through...also challenging Ezeulu's temporal and spiritual suzerainty.... Achebe is the dominant talent of the younger African writers and this book is empowered by the primitive strength and shrewdness of a tribal civilization whose immunity to the outside world is just beginning to give way. Much of its humor and eloquence resides in its proverbial speech patterns, and since the ""stone rarely succeeds like the eye in hitting the mark,"" do not underestimate the sympathetic accuracy of Achebe's unwavering eye.