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Making History in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe

Tendi, Blessing-Miles

Making History in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe

Politics, Intellectuals and the Media

Series: Nationalisms across the Globe - Volume 4

Year of Publication: 2010

Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2010. XVIII, 286 pp.
ISBN 978-3-03911-989-9 pb.  (Softcover)

Weight: 0.440 kg, 0.970 lbs

available Softcover
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Book synopsis

The crisis that has engulfed Zimbabwe since 2000 is not simply a struggle against dictatorship. It is also a struggle over ideas and deep-seated historical issues, still unresolved from the independence process, that both Robert Mugabe’s ZANU PF regime and Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC are vying first to define and then to address. This book traces the role of politicians and public intellectuals in media, civil society and the academy in producing and disseminating a politically usable historical narrative concerning ideas about patriotism, race, land, human rights and sovereignty. It raises pressing questions about the role of contemporary African intellectuals in the making of democratic societies. In so doing the book adds a new and rich dimension to the study of African politics, which is often diluted by the neglect of ideas.


Contents: African Nationalism – Robert Mugabe – Public Intellectuals – Patriotic History – The Use of History to Legitimise Power – Human Rights – Sovereignty – Race Relations – History and Politics of Land in Africa – Nationalism – Ethnicity.

About the author(s)/editor(s)

Blessing-Miles Tendi (D.Phil.) is Zimbabwean. He was educated at the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford. Tendi is a United Kingdom-based researcher in African politics.


«This book penetrates beneath the rhetoric of Zimbabwe’s ZANU PF party and its critics to analyze the historical narrative called Patriotic History, which underlies the rhetoric and fundamental differences between Robert Mugabe and his opponents. Intellectuals and politicians on both sides are held to account in this important book.» (Princeton N. Lyman, Adjunct Senior Fellow for Africa Policy Studies, Council on Foreign Relations (Washington, DC))
«By bringing clarity, sense and cohesion to the highly contentious political rhetoric of Zimbabwean politics, the author has made an important contribution to research on contemporary Zimbabwe.» (Charles Laurie, Modern African Studies)


Nationalisms across the Globe. Vol. 4
Edited by Tomasz Kamusella and Krzysztof Jaskułowski