Dinner with Mugabe: The Untold Story of a Freedom Fighter Who Became a Tyrant

Overview

"The most intimate portrait yet produced of Zimbabwe's clever yet brutal leader." -The Economist

With plunging life expectancy, soaring inflation, and unemployment, repression, and starvation fueling a mass exodus, Zimbabwe is a nation in crisis. Its president, Robert Mugabe-once lauded for his heroics as a guerilla leader who fought against white-minority rule in the 1960s- is now seen as the man who ruined the country and cast shame on the African conti­nent. Beginning with a ...

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Overview

"The most intimate portrait yet produced of Zimbabwe's clever yet brutal leader." -The Economist

With plunging life expectancy, soaring inflation, and unemployment, repression, and starvation fueling a mass exodus, Zimbabwe is a nation in crisis. Its president, Robert Mugabe-once lauded for his heroics as a guerilla leader who fought against white-minority rule in the 1960s- is now seen as the man who ruined the country and cast shame on the African conti­nent. Beginning with a dinner shared with Mugabe the freedom fight­er and ending in a searching interview with Mugabe as Zimbabwe's president more than thirty years later, Heidi Holland's incisive and timely investigation charts Mugabe's gradual self- destruction and probes the mystery of Africa's loyalty to one of its worst dictators.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Originally published in 2008, this exposé of Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe explores the transformation of Rhodesia into modern-day Zimbabwe just as much as it unfurls its leader's devolution from a cooperative and responsive president into a tyrant. Author Holland has been a Zimbabwean-based journalist for more than 30 years and does her homework by tracking down influential people from Mugabe's life who can shed light on his thinking and actions. Had Holland focused more on this research and less on pop psychology evaluations of the leader, a stronger story would have emerged. Narrated by Australian actress Deidre Rubenstein, whose pleasant voice captures the regalness of the Zimbabwean dignitaries interviewed, this audiobook may be enjoyed by those looking to understand the challenges of postcolonial African nations. Fans of Nelson Mandela may appreciate the opportunity to compare his successes with Mugabe's failures.—Johannah Genett, Hennepin P.L., Minneapolis
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780143025573
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 5/16/2008
  • Pages: 280
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Heidi Holland has been reporting from Africa for thirty years for such news outlets as The New York Times, The Guardian, The Sunday Times, and the BBC. Her books include The Struggle: A History of the African National Congress and a true crime investigation of racism and violence in South Africa, The Colour of Murder. She lives in South Africa.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements

Preface

Timeline: A chronology of key events in Robert Mugabe's life

Introduction

1 Brother in the background 1

2 Mummy and Uncle Bob 11

3 The prisoner's friend 26

4 Comrades in arms 40

5 A surprise agreement 58

6 Tea with Lady Soames 70

7 I told you so 82

8 Britain's diplomatic blunder 94

9 A reluctant politician 107

10 The faithful priest 126

11 In the eyes of God's deputies 145

12 The man in the elegant suit 159

13 Two of a kind 177

14 Yesterday's heroes 192

15 As it was in the beginning 206

16 The good, the bad, and the reality 217

Selected bibliography 245

Index 247

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