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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.Read more
- Provides a thorough, chronological history of Zimbabwe from pre-colonial times to the present day
- Analyses the social, political, economic, ethnic and postcolonial factors that have contributed to the current crisis
- Accessible for those new to the history of Zimbabwe while also useful for scholars and students
Reviews & endorsements
"The absence of a single text dedicated to the longue durée of Zimbabwe’s history can now be said to be a thing of the past. At long last, Professor Alois Mlambo has, for the first time, produced a crisp single-volume book that documents the country’s rich historical experience, covering the entire precolonial, colonial and postcolonial continuum. Easily readable but deeply incisive in its evaluations, A History of Zimbabwe coherently weaves together historiographical debates, which scholars have been engaged in over time, with a clear content analysis framed by recognizable themes and chronology. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding the long historical trajectory of contemporary socio-economic and political developments in Zimbabwe. Professor Mlambo’s book will become the classic text on the history of Zimbabwe for a long time to come."
Muchaparara Musemwa, University of the Witwatersrand, JohannesburgSee more reviews
"This volume, written by one of Southern Africa’s premier historians, admirably fills the long-felt need for an accessible yet comprehensive synthesis of the disparate historiographies of precolonial, colonial, nationalist and independent Zimbabwe. Alois Mlambo showcases the factors that are uniquely interesting about Zimbabwe’s path in a way that will also facilitate comparisons with Zimbabwe’s neighbours and other countries of the global South."
Teresa Barnes, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
"Certainly the most comprehensive and informed history of Zimbabwe to date, it is also a joy to read so much good writing, with appropriate case studies and apt quotations. Alois Mlambo does not shrink from criticism of the post-independence government, but his judgments are always well thought out and tempered by consideration of the internal and international political and economic contexts. A good companion for The Cambridge History of South Africa."
Neil Parsons, Former Professor of History, University of Botswana
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- Date Published: April 2014
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9781107021709
- length: 306 pages
- dimensions: 236 x 158 x 21 mm
- weight: 0.56kg
- contains: 12 b/w illus. 6 maps 23 tables
- availability: In stock
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: Zimbabwe in historical perspective
2. Early states, c.900–1900
3. The British conquest state
4. Colonial economy and society to 1953
5. The federation years, 1953–63
6. Nationalist movements to 1965
7. Udi and African response
8. Independent Zimbabwe, 1980–2000
9. The crisis years, 2000–8
10. Conclusion: Zimbabwe past, present and future prospects.
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