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The Fear: The Last Days of Robert Mugabe [Paperback]

Peter Godwin
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
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Book Description

1 July 2011

‘The most powerful indictment of Mugabe’s regime yet written’ The Economist

‘A brave, sensitive and observant account of Zimbabwe’s tragedy, exposing the cruelty of Mugabe’s regime and the remarkable courage of those who have defied it’ Financial Times

In mid-2008, after thirty years of increasingly tyrannical rule, Robert Mugabe lost an election. Instead of conceding defeat, his supporters launched a brutal campaign of terror – Zimbabweans called it, simply, The Fear.

Peter Godwin travels, at considerable risk, to see the havoc raging at the heart of his country, but what emerges from the brutality are the heartbreaking tales of resistance and survival, the astonishing moments of humour and goodwill, and the unforgettable characters who will not be subdued.

‘A beautifully written chronicle of his journey through his ravaged but still achingly beautiful homeland’ Independent

‘An important book detailing the violent realities, the grotesque injustices, the hunger, the sadness, and a portrait of Mugabe, the tyrant who is the cause of it all’ Paul Theroux

Frequently Bought Together

The Fear: The Last Days of Robert Mugabe + When A Crocodile Eats the Sun + Mukiwa: A White Boy in Africa
Price For All Three: 20.27

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Picador (1 July 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 033050777X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330507776
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 77,745 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Peter Godwin is the award winning author of The Fear, When a Crocodile Eats the Sun, and Mukiwa, all published by Picador. He writes for various publications including the New York Times magazine, National Geographic and Vanity Fair. He lives in Manhattan.

Product Description


`The fear of the title was Mugabe's reign of terror after he had been defeated by Zimbabwe's electorate, a defeat that he decided not to accept. The courage of those who resisted him was impressive indeed, while Peter Godwin, a Zimbabwean himself, showed a great deal of bravery in staying to report the situation. It's a situation that Godwin brings to chilling life in a book that's full of menace, and not only Mugabe's. Not for bedtime reading.'
--Sunday Telegraph

From the Back Cover

In mid-2008, after nearly three decades of increasingly tyrannical rule, Robert Mugabe, the eighty-four-year-old ruler of Zimbabwe, met his politburo. He had just lost an election. But instead of conceding power, he was persuaded to launch a brutal campaign of terror to cower his citizens. Journalist and author Peter Godwin was one of the few observers to slip into the country and bear witness to the terrifying period that Zimbabweans call, simply, The Fear.

Following on from his compelling and moving memoirs, Mukiwa and When a Crocodile Eats the Sun, this is a personal journey through the country Peter Godwin grew up in and knows so well. At considerable risk, he travels widely to see the torture bases, the burned villages, the death squads, the opposition leaders in hiding, the last white farmers, the churchmen and the diplomats putting their own lives on the line to stop the carnage.

Told with Godwin’s brilliant eye for detail and natural story-telling gifts, this tale of corruption and violence is punctuated by moments of humour and goodwill, and populated by extraordinary characters whose lives have been shaped by The Fear.

'An urgent and essential book. Relentlessly gripping reading' Philip Gourevitch

'Passionate and personal, as well as bold in his travel and scrupulous in his documentation' Paul Theroux

'Godwin has become the pre-eminent chronicler of his country's tragic past decade' The Times

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's hard to play cards with two broken arms 19 Oct 2010
By StarP
Peter Godwin's latest book is another of his wonderfully written works detailing Zimbabwe's devastating decline at the hand of Bob Mugabe. Mr Godwin travels to Zimbabwe after the 2008 elections hoping to finally witness the end of Mugabe, but unfortunately ends up witnessing the latest round of violence orchestrated by the regime. The chaos unleashed - simply because the people dared to vote against Bob - is unbelievable in its savagery and brutality leaving no doubt as to why this period is known as `the fear'. The intimidation, random beatings, torture, rape and murder are carefully documented. Eye-witness testimony carefully describes who carried out these crimes and even details attacks carried out by sitting Members of Parliament.

The book is not an analysis of why the chaos is happening but is about the impact on the people and the country as a whole. It portrays how the ordinary citizens of Zimbabwe try and maintain normality even as their world disintegrates around them. This makes the book even more powerful as it illustrates just how far Mugabe has been prepared to go to wreck his own country simply to maintain his personal wealth. That the world has stood by (with a few notable exceptions described in the book) and done so little to prevent this evil is shameful.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Peter Godwin's third heartfelt Zimbabwe memoir 23 Jan 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As a Zimbabwean, I feel keenly the heartbreaking tragedy that has unfolded there since independence.

After a violent civil war, it has transpired that both sides fought and died for nothing. The people of Zimbabwe are perhaps more downtrodden than at any time.

In this book, the third of his Zimbabwe memoirs, Godwin chronicles the period from 2007-9. Here, we see the appalling violence of the 2008 election and the short-lived hope of the 'united' government, as this beautiful country and its people seem to slip into a black hole.

As before, Godwin blends his own Zimbabwean story with topical current affairs to provide what is perhaps the best idea out there for Zimbabweans in exile of what is happening to their country.

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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More on Godwin 3 Dec 2010
By MattC
I ordered this as soon as I saw Godwin's name on the cover - as I've read and enjoyed hugely his two previous memoirs: 'Mukiwa' and 'When A Crocodile Eats The Sun'. Reading them first, though not essential, will give you the context and background on Zimbabwe that will certainly enrich your enjoyment of 'The Fear'.

And you'll have discovered more about a wonderful writer along the way ...
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars once again this brought tears to my eyes 2 Aug 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
so many of us have loved and left a bit of ourselves in this beautiful country and cling to the hope that we may one day return, even if it is as the authors mother to be buried at home
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Fear - Peter Godwin 9 Jun 2011
An accurate factual account of Zimbabwe under Mugabe as it is today.
There are several horrifying accounts of torture by Mugabe's agents as
told to the author by the victims themselves.
He also describes the beauty of Zimbabwe together with poignant
accounts of places he knew or lived in a decade or so ago and
the run down condition he finds them in today.
The house that the author stayed in in Chimanimani belongs to my wife
and the book he refers to as having belonged to Dr Mostert did
of course belong to my father in law.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fear factor 10 Dec 2010
By teecee
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is not for the faint hearted. Godwin has shown how a despot like Mugabe operates
in Zimbabwe and the West is turning a blind eye!!!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Monument 13 Jan 2011
I hardly know how to write about this book on the terrible situation in Zimbabwe. It is harrowing, tragic, truthful. One thing that did come across as I was reading was the importance of this work and how great a thing it is that it has been printed. It has given a voice to a people who have been silenced.

For decades to come the testimonies of people who have suffered at the hands of the 'The Fear' are here in print, recorded, for the world to see. A Monument.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Fear:The last days of Robert Mugabe. 7 Aug 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having been thrown out of Zimbabwe by Mugabe - I feel this book should be on every reading list for people who maybe are trying to understand the muddle that Africa has become under the all power full Dictators and the impotent International Community
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book you will find on the most recent troubles in Zimbabwe
Without doubt the best account I have read on the latest troubles affecting Zimbabwe. Impossible to put down from the moment I opened it. A must read.
Published 20 days ago by Ross Whibley
5.0 out of 5 stars Harrowing!
Have just finished this book,i am emotionally drained,such brave people.It's unbelievable people can be so cruel,shocking, more people need to read this story! Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mrs J Padley
4.0 out of 5 stars The Fear Robert Mugabe
This book gives an horrific insight into the way Zimbaweans - both white and black - are being treated by thugs, encouraged by the government led by Robert Mugabe to intimidate and... Read more
Published 4 months ago by TRENDYWENDY
5.0 out of 5 stars My heart cries for a beautiful country
A country gone to waste by a dictator who thinks he is I above every one else but he needs to wake up and see what he has destroyed. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Mobimac
4.0 out of 5 stars Mugabe's terror campaign
It is hard to put this book down, even though the stories it tells are harrowing. Many of the stories are similar but still Peter Godwin's writing ensures they do not bore with... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Diane Cozens
4.0 out of 5 stars What a tale...............
Not for the faint-hearted!

I've read his previous books - Mukiwa and When a Crocodile Eats The Sun. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Alice B
5.0 out of 5 stars Brave people who need to be heard
A book that makes you feel humble. frightened .frustrated , and very angry
These men,women and children are so brave - listen to their story ,read this book , follow their... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Mr. Michael Gilmour
5.0 out of 5 stars Everybody should read this book
With a number of Zimbabwean relatives and having spent considerable time there throughout the 90s I witnessed the run up to some of the events described. Read more
Published 6 months ago by R. Hart
5.0 out of 5 stars Unrelenting sadness
The early optimism following independence for Zimbabwe in 1980 has long since gone. As usual Peter Godwin writes with personal conviction and perception. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Peter Mills
5.0 out of 5 stars Shocking!
I can't believe how little we have heard from mainstream media about the true situation in Zimbabwe. Peter Godwin is a master writer and tells it as it truly is. Read more
Published 7 months ago by elsie
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