£14.99 | $26.95
11 August 2011
216mm x 138mm
Africa, Politics, Human Rights
Catastrophe: What Went Wrong in Zimbabwe?
No one in 1980 could have guessed that Zimbabwe would become a failed state on such a monumental and tragic scale. In this incisive and revealing book, Richard Bourne shows how a country which had every prospect of success when it achieved a delayed independence in 1980 became a brutal police state with hyperinflation, collapsing life expectancy and abandonment by a third of its citizens less than thirty years later.
Beginning with the British conquest of Zimbabwe and covering events up to the present precarious political situation, Catastrophe is the most comprehensive, up-to-date and readable account of the ongoing crisis. Bourne shows that Zimbabwe's tragedy is not just about Mugabe's 'evil' but about history, Africa today and the world's attitudes towards them.
'In the plethora of one-sided and ill-informed works on Zimbabwe, Richard Bourne's new book stands out as deeply-thought, highly-detailed, judicious and balanced. Bourne's capacity to weigh evidence and to arrive at sober and sobering judgements is superb. There will not be a better account of Zimbabwe for some time to come.' - Professor Stephen Chan, author of Robert Mugabe: A Life of Power and Violence
'Richard Bourne has written a clear, well-linked history of Zimbabwe from its earliest days as a territory invaded and seized by whites to its recent history under the dictatorship of Robert Mugabe. Perceptive and fair, Bourne offers no quick solutions or easy receiver plans but remains optimistic that Zimbabweans themselves will reconcile and rebuild.' - Richard Dowden, author of Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles
'Richard Bourne expertly lays bare Mugabe's terrifying abuse of power-- his path from liberator to destroyer-- as well as charting the failures by Britain and the world to challenge him effectively.' - James Robbins, BBC
'Bourne’s book is an important contribution to understanding what went wrong in independent Zimbabwe; it is also a good account of all the factors that blighted the country and its people long before Mugabe came to power.' - Sir Ronald Sanders
Table of Contents
Glossary of acronyms, personalities, organisations
Preface and Acknowledgements
Prologue: Two birthdays
2. White supremacy and the settler state
3. From UDI to Lancaster House
4. ZANU in power - the 1980s
5. The 1990s - when the wheels began to fall off
6. Disaster years, and the third chimurenga
7. From Operation Murambatsvina to an inclusive government
8. How did it go wrong?
About the Author:
Richard Bourne is Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, London University, and a former journalist. In 1998 he founded the Commonwealth Policy Studies Unit and before that, in 1990, was the first director of the non-governmental Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative. He has written and edited ten books and numerous reports, including a biography of President Lula of Brazil (2008) and a collection of essays in honour of the 80th birthday of Shridath Ramphal (2008). As a journalist he was education correspondent of The Guardian and deputy editor of the London Evening Standard.
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