Fear: The Last Days of Robert Mugabe (Anglais) Broché – 1 juillet 2011
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Our first visit involved crossing the bridge from Livingstone to the town of Victoria Falls and our first destination was a small supermarket where we stood in awe at the full shelves. Our souvenirs of that visit included chocolate bars, laundry powder and few other equally exotic items.
We witnessed first hand Zambia's economy slide during the 20 years following independence. We had roads that were more potholes than tarmac, a once excellent hospital that was later renamed "the departure lounge" by locals because anyone admitted was assumed unlikely to survive the experience, and a thriving black market develop in both currency and basics like cooking oil, soap and medical supplies. Crime rose dramatically and people rarely ventured out of their securely burglar-barred homes after sunset.
So I thought I had a pretty good idea of what things must be like now in Zimbabwe. Peter Godwin's excellent reporting of his experiences during his last visit was truly shocking and appalling. I was of course saddened, but not surprised, at the destruction of infrastructure, businesses and farms. What was so shocking was the brutality and especially the willing complicity of so many people in the brutality... and that that brutality was even visited on the elderly and children as well as able-bodied adults.
As stunning as I found the brutality, even more impressive was the bravery of so many people. From the people at the top of the MDC, to the American ambassador, to the author, but especially to the countless average people, both Black and White, who were/are so willing to continue to confront the brutality despite the horrific consequences for themselves ... amazing.
I hope I live long enough to read Peter Godwin's fourth book detailing the end of the repressive regime and the rebirth of a united Zimbabwe, but I'm not very optimistic. Removing the criminals at the top of the power structure and rebuilding the infrastructure will be exceedingly difficult. Repairing the damage to the social structure will take a very long time if ever.
It also amazes me that the West is so willing to rush in to "help" in places such as Libya or the Falklands or Afghanistan, but so blind to what's been going on in places like Zimbabwe or in the past in Apartheid South Africa. Of course considering the results of western intervention in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, maybe it's just as well they don't get involved.
Great book on an overwhelmingly sad subject.
I had the great privilege to live in Rhodesia for two years and went on to visit Zimbabwe many times.
This book, like all of his shoots from the hip, a great writer who is telling a very sad factual story of a country which the world has decided to ignore.
Peter you are the last hope please keep us informed.
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- Livres anglais et étrangers > Biographies & Memoirs > Leaders & Notable People > Political
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- Livres anglais et étrangers > Nonfiction > Politics > Human Rights
- Livres anglais et étrangers > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Political Science