Mugabe: Teacher, Revolutionary, Tyrant

Mugabe: Teacher, Revolutionary, Tyrant

by Andrew Norman
     
 

A former guerrilla leader who headed the resistance movement against white minority rule, Robert Mugabe was swept to power in Zimbabwe in 1980 on a tide of national euphoria with promises of peace, prosperity, and racial harmony. He then proceeded to preside over the economic and political ruination of the country that he himself had once described as the

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Overview

A former guerrilla leader who headed the resistance movement against white minority rule, Robert Mugabe was swept to power in Zimbabwe in 1980 on a tide of national euphoria with promises of peace, prosperity, and racial harmony. He then proceeded to preside over the economic and political ruination of the country that he himself had once described as the “Jewel of Africa.” In his desperate attempt to create and perpetuate a one-party state over the past quarter century, he has thwarted the democratic process, used torture against his own people, and deliberately obstructed aid organizations when they offered assistance to the persecuted and starving. This expansive study examines the private life and political reign of this ruthless dictator and unveils new details about Mugabe’s life prior to 1980. Illustrated with a number of photos secretly smuggled out of the country, this unique look at Mugabe explains the ethos and the methods behind Africa’s unshakeable iron fist.

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Kirkus Reviews

Condemnatory biography of the now 84-year-old Zimbabwean dictator who has made news�none good�since 1980 and regularly figures in the headlines today for rigging elections and disappearing opponents.

Greeted as a liberator when his country, formerly Southern Rhodesia, declared independence in 1980, Robert Mugabe quickly embarked on a program of nationalization. Notable among his targets, writes biographer Norman (Arthur Conan Doyle, 2007, etc.), who lived in Southern Rhodesia in the late '50s, were the country's white farmers. "At the beginning of the 1980s, Zimbabwe's economy was booming," Norman writes. Those 6,000 farmers employed 300,000 black workers and produced vast exports, including two million tons of corn per year. Zimbabwe now imports corn and most of its other foodstuffs, and its people routinely suffer famine and malnutrition�even as Mugabe is building a museum honoring his achievements at whose center, Norman notes, will stand "a 16-foot-long stuffed Nile crocodile�a recent birthday present from his loyal ministers and officials." Plenty of dictators, tyrants and tinhorns have behaved poorly throughout world history; Norman suggests that Mugabe stands tall among them, if only because he apparently has no ideology apart from himself. The author charges that Mugabe became a Marxist, for instance, mostly out of convenience, since communism seemed to assure the success of a cult of personality and since communists seemed to rule indefinitely�or, as Mugabe put it, "What appealed to us most over our induction into communism was the firm instruction that: �Once you had become the government, you remain in government for ever.' " Mugabe retains power through terror, writesNorman, and with the knowledge that the European Union and the United States will not interfere with his misrule "for fear of being branded imperialist."

Well-written, though doesn't offer much more than any recent edition of, say, the CIA World Factbook�save that Norman's righteous indignation is joined by some truly horrific photographs that provide more evidence of the regime's brutality.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781862274914
Publisher:
The History Press
Publication date:
10/15/2008
Pages:
192
Product dimensions:
4.80(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Andrew Norman was born in Zimbabwe and is the author of Adolf Hitler, HMS Hood, and Robert Mugabe and the Betrayal of Zimbabwe.

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