Catalogue


Zimbabwe : years of hope and despair /
Philip Barclay.
imprint
London : Bloomsbury, c2010.
description
xx, 234 p. : map ; 23 cm.
ISBN
1408805200 (hbk.), 9781408805206 (hbk.)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
London : Bloomsbury, c2010.
isbn
1408805200 (hbk.)
9781408805206 (hbk.)
catalogue key
7253538
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Reviews
Review Quotes
'Very, very good. Barclay's book is chilling and heartbreaking. He is as far from the diplomat of the 'old school' as can be imagined. As a man, and a writer, he is engaged and brave'
This item was reviewed in:
The Times (London), June 2010
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
This is a fascinating travelogue and political expose of the scarred country of Zimbabwe.
Main Description
Philip Barclay lived and worked as a diplomat and blogger in Zimbabwe during 2006-2009 - one of the few permitted Western observers of events on the ground. In this electrifying first-hand account we witness the key events that marked the decline of this once prosperous and stable nation. In early 2007, The Movement for Democratic Change (led by Morgan Tsvangiari) held large rallies, leaving Tsvangiari severely beaten and activists killed and arrested. Philip Barclay attended the trials of the MDC activists while campaigns for the next election were beginning to take shape, even though both parties were divided. Although it looked certain that President Robert Mugabe would win the next election in March 2008, given that he controlled all state media, as Philip travelled around the country there was a sense of hope and excitement at the prospect of change. On polling day it became immediately obvious that the MDC had won. The following months saw a widespread outbreak of violence; reports came in of rape, murder and mass evictions as the military and party militia's assaulted and intimidated the supporters of the MDC. Mugabe was not ready to stand down. Philip witnessed a bomb site where activists were burned alive and interviewed rape victims and members of illegal refugee camps. Philip himself was stopped and threatened by a ZANU-PF militia. By July 2008 the country had fallen apart. Hyperinflation ensued, utilities failed and the worst Cholera epidemic in recent world history hit a starving population. A unity agreement was eventually signed in early 2009, but is this really a new dawn for Zimbabwe? Concise, fluent, imaginative and authoritative,Zimbabwegets to the terrifying core of a country systematically destroyed by its own government, and asks important questions about what the future may hold.
Main Description
Zimbabwe is a country both blessed and cursed. Arriving to work at the British Embassy in Zimbabwe, Philip Barclay found a temperate paradise and a sophisticated and charming population. But during a three-year stay in what used to be Africa's finest country, he saw it ruined by violence and grotesque economic mismanagement. Philip Barclay was at the centre of the tumultuous events of 2008. Zimbabwe's people voted against Robert Mugabe, but their desire for change was denied as vicious squads of indoctrinated youths loyal to the ageing dictator launched a campaign of murder, rape and destruction. In the wake of such terror, the country's economy and public services collapsed, leading to widespread poverty and epidemics of diseases that Zimbabwe had not seen in living memory. This electrifying account records the violent excesses of a hated clique prepared to do anything to cling to power. It asks why the world stood by and watched as Zimbabwe burned and questions whether power-sharing between Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai offers the way forward which the country needs. An honest account of a diplomat's confrontation with a brutal dictatorship, Zimbabweis also a personal story of the resilience - despite their daily experience of despair and death - of Zimbabwe's people.
Bowker Data Service Summary
Zimbabwe is a country both blessed and cursed. Arriving to work at the British Embassy in Zimbabwe, Philip Barclay found a temperate paradise and a sophisticated and charming population. But during a three-year stay in what used to be Africa's finest country, he saw it ruined by violence and grotesque economic mismanagement.

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