Wednesday, April 9, 2014

New Africa Book of the Day - 9 April 2014

A History of Zimbabwe by Alois S. Mlambo

Release Date: April 7, 2014
Publisher: Cambridge University Press

There is currently no single-volume history of Zimbabwe that provides detailed coverage of the country's experience from precolonial times to the present. This book examines Zimbabwe's precolonial, colonial and post-colonial social, economic and political history and relates historical factors and trends to more recent developments in the country.

Zimbabwe is a country with a rich history, dating from the early San hunter-gatherer societies. The arrival of British imperial rule in 1890 impacted the country tremendously, as the European rulers developed and exploited Zimbabwe's resources, which gave rise to a movement of African nationalism and demands for independence. This process culminated in the armed conflict of the 1960s and 1970s, a war of liberation that ended with Zimbabwe's independence in 1980.

The 1990s were marked by economic decline and the rise of opposition politics. In 1999, Mugabe and his party embarked on a violent and chaotic land reform program that disrupted the country's prosperous agricultural sector and plunged the nation's economy into a downward spiral.

Political violence and human rights violations made Zimbabwe an international pariah state, with struggles continuing to this day. This book is targeted primarily at students of Zimbabwean history, but will be useful to both scholars of Zimbabwean history and those unfamiliar with the country's past.

Alois S. Mlambo has been professor of history at the University of Pretoria since 2004. He is co-editor (with Brian Raftopoulos) of Becoming Zimbabwe. A History from the Pre-colonial Period to 2008 (Weaver Press, 2009) and co-author (with E.S. Pangeti) of The Political Economy of the Zimbabwean Sugar Industry, 1920-1990 (UZ Publications, 1996).