The Healers Hardcover – Jun 1979
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Both books tell a story, a fictionalized parable of how we ended up in the prison we find ourselves in today. Both stories are set in a past time, but the actions of the characters, and the results of those actions, are relevant to what is happening even to this very day in the African continent and, indeed, even here in my adopted home of America.
The traitors among us open the gates to allow our enemies to enter the village, while our leaders betray us for fool's gold.
Armah does not pretend that the Path of our Escape will be an easy one, nor that it will involve a quick journey. We face powerful enemies who are well-armed and imminently skilled in the art of dividing and conquering their prey.
But, even so, in both books, we are taught, by way of illustration, two lessons:
1) Our enemies could not have conquerered us, in the first place, if we had worked together, as one unified people, to defend our village from the barbarians who sought to destroy us.
2) Even now, unity is the Path out of our prison.
These are not new lessons. We have heard them many times before from many sources. But, Armah, by way of his parables, opens our eyes so that we can see, and our ears so that we can hear.