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Mugabe: Power, Plunder, and the Struggle for Zimbabwe's Future Paperback – 25 Sep 2007

4.2 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs (25 Sept. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 158648558X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1586485580
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.9 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 460,729 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Amazon Review

Martin Meredith's new book on Robert Mugabe, Mugabe: Power and Plunder in Zimbabwe comes as a welcome antidote to the current one-dimensional portrayals of the president as an "evil monster" that narrow our understanding of the man. Meredith has spent most of his career reporting on Zimbabwe and South Africa, first as a foreign correspondent and latterly as an academic, so his credentials are impeccable. He does not shirk from condemning Mugabe for his single-minded obsession with power that has left Zimbabwe's roads flowing with blood and its economy bankrupt, but Meredith reminds us that in his earlier days Mugabe was a much more considered political radical. Mugabe spent his early years under the tutelage of the Jesuits, and only abandoned religion in favour of Marxism after he won a scholarship to study at university in South Africa where he quickly became a highly politicised member of the African National Congress. He came to Western attention in the late 1970s when the apartheid regime in Rhodesia, as Zimbabwe was then known, creaked to its inevitable demise and Britain set about establishing an independent African regime in its former colony. Britain did its best to rig the results in favour of its preferred candidate the moderate and easily controlled Bishop Muzorewa, but much to the surprise of the Thatcher government--but to no-one in Zimbabwe--Mugabe's ZANU party romped home as landslide victors. Britain held its breath for the backlash and... nothing happened. In fact, Mugabe showed himself to be surprisingly conciliatory and Christopher Soames, the British governor-general who had been appointed to supervise the elections reported that he "ended up not only implicitly trusting him but also fondly loving him as well".

So where did it all go wrong? It is tempting to suggest that his father's desertion and the death of his young son were key factors in Mugabe's subsequent emotional detachment, but Meredith resists drawing such a linear psychological equation. Instead he catalogues the landmark events, such as the scandal of the war veteran pensions, that led Mugabe to compromise both his morality and his country and one is left with the impression that Zimbabwe's fate was inevitable given that Mugabe's only guiding motivation was to hang on to power whatever the cost. Mugabe: Power and Plunder in Zimbabwe is the first book of a brand new non-fiction imprint, PublicAffairs Ltd, that is dedicated to following the standards of IF Stone and Benjamin Bradlee: both would be more than happy to be associated with Meredith's volume. --John Crace -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.

Review

"...the best argued and best written indictment yet of the man Nelson Mandela mockingly calls Comrade Bob." The Economist "This book is highly readable, clear and fast-moving. It is excellent on Mugabe's early life and the way he became drawn into the struggle of Zimbabwe." Financial Times "As a well-written chronicle of Zimbabwe's degradation, this book is of great value." Sunday Telegraph "Martin Meredith's account of the pursuit of power and plunder is especially good on the early years of Mugabe..." Daily Telegraph "Martin Meredith's book is not so much a biography as a brief gallop through the unfolding moral fable of independent Zimbabwe to the present day. As such it is a useful short guide..." Sunday Times"

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