Robert Mugabe came to power in Zimbabwe in 1980 after a long civil war in Rhodesia. The white minority government had become an international outcast in refusing to give in to the inevitability of black majority rule. Finally the defiant white prime minister Ian Smith was forced to step down and Mugabe was elected president. Initially he promised reconciliation between white and blacks, encouraged Zimbabwes economic and social development, and was admired throughout the world as one of the leaders of the emerging nations and as a model for a transition from colonial leadership. But as Martin Meredith shows in this history of Mugabes rule, Mugabe from the beginning was sacrificing his purported ideals-and Zimbabwes potential-to the goal of extending and cementing his autocratic leadership. Over time, Mugabe has become ever more dictatorial, and seemingly less and less interested in the welfare of his people, treating Zimbabwes wealth and resources as spoils of war for his inner circle. In recent years he has unleashed a reign of terror and corruption in his country. Like the Congo, Angola, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Liberia, Zimbabwe has been on a steady slide to disaster.
Now for the first time the whole story is told in detail by an expert. It is a riveting and tragic political story, a morality tale, and an essential text for understanding todays Africa. * A fully revised and updated edition of the book previously titled Our Votes, Our Guns
"...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"