What Went Wrong in Zimbabwe?

Richard Bourne



No one in 1980 could have guessed that Zimbabwe would become a failed state on such a monumental and tragic scale. In this incisive and revealing book, Richard Bourne shows how a country which had every prospect of success when it achieved a delayed independence in 1980 became a brutal police state with hyperinflation, collapsing life expectancy and abandonment by a third of its citizens less than thirty years later.


In the plethora of one-sided and ill-informed works on Zimbabwe, Richard Bourne's new book stands out as deeply-thought, highly-detailed, judicious and balanced. Bourne's capacity to weigh evidence and to arrive at sober and sobering judgements is superb. There will not be a better account of Zimbabwe for some time to come. - Stephen Chan


Richard Bourne is senior research fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, London University, and secretary to the Ramphal Institute in London.