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Mugabe: A Life of Power and Violence

Stephen Chan

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I B TAURIS
30 May 2019
Biography: historical, political & military; History; African history; Postwar 20th century history, from c 1945 to c 2000; Political leaders & leadership
On 21st November 2017 Robert Mugabe resigned as President of Zimbabwe after 37 years in power. A week earlier the military had seized control of the country and forced him to step down as leader of the ruling Zanu-PF party. In this revised and updated edition of his classic biography, Stephen Chan seeks to explain and interpret Mugabe in his role as a key player in the politics of Southern Africa. In this masterly portrait of one of Africa's longest-serving leaders, Mugabe's character unfolds with the ebb and flow of triumph and crisis. Mugabe's story is Zimbabwe's - from the post-independence hopes of idealism and reconciliation to electoral victory, the successful intervention in the international politics of Southern Africa and the resistance to South Africa's policy of apartheid. But a darker picture emerged early with the savage crushing of the Matabeleland rising, the elimination of political opponents, growing corruption and disastrous intervention in the Congo war, all worsened by drought and the HIV/AIDS crisis. Stephen Chan's highly revealing biography, based on close personal knowledge of Zimbabwe, depicts the emergence and eventual downfall of a ruthless and single-minded despot amassing and tightly clinging to political power. We follow the triumphant nationalist leader who reconciled all in the new multiracial Zimbabwe, degenerate into a petty tyrant consumed by hubris and self-righteousness and ultimately face an ignominious endgame at the hands of his own army.
By:   Stephen Chan
Imprint:   I B TAURIS
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 156mm, 
Weight:   368g
ISBN:   9781788314282
ISBN 10:   178831428X
Pages:   288
Publication Date:   30 May 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Stephen Chan is Professor of International Relations at SOAS, University of London and Honorary Professor of Humanities at University of Johannesburg. He received an OBE in 2010 for services to Africa and Higher Education. He has also received the International Studies Association's Eminent Shcolar in Global Development award.

Reviews for Mugabe: A Life of Power and Violence

`In this book, Stephen Chan has wisely avoided portraying Robert Mugabe as the simple ogre so many hold him to be. Without flinching from the wickedness Mugabe practiced and (more so) allowed to be practiced on his behalf, Chan allows a little space to appreciate the absolute dedication Mugabe brought to the idea of Zimbabwe. For all of Mugabe's faults, there was something admirable about that commitment and dedication. Chan also sees Mugabe's pathos. From being the scrawny bookworm kid, to being denied permission to attend his first-born's funeral, to his chronic friendlessness, Robert Mugabe cut a well-dressed but sad and reduced presence. Chan's focus on Mugabe's vanity is spot on, as are the descriptions of his ruthlessness, his cluelessness about economics, and his apparent disinterest in the suffering of normal people during the last years of his rule over Zimbabwe.' - D. Bruce Wharton, US Ambassador to Zimbabwe 2012-2015


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