Sir Garfield Todd and the Making of Zimbabwe

Ruth Weiss



"I had to save Rhodesia." Thus Sir Garfield Todd, a towering figure in the history of Zimbabwe and Southern Africa, defined his mission. He was a missionary from New Zealand who became a Zimbabwean and six years after entering politics became Prime Minister of Southern Rhodesia in the early years of the ill-fated Central African Federation. He highlighted the dilemmas experienced by white liberals - derided by whites and denounced by black nationalists as sell-outs. Garfield Todd combined high intelligence, strong self-will, immense energy, great oratory and a sense of high moral purpose, but was a man of contradictions. He entered politics to oppose racial discrimination yet joined, and eventually led, the establishment party of white privilege. Todd has a unique and major place in the making of Zimbabwe, and in the history of Southern Africa and modern Africa.


The biography of such a man is bound to be difficult to write. He is worth writing about because he is admirable-yet a biographer cannot afford to be merely admiring. Ruth Weiss resolves the dilemma by being critical of Todd in power and admiring of him in the long years after his overthrow. - Terence Ranger, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies


Ruth Weiss is a broadcaster, journalist and author of several works on South and Southern Africa including Zimbabwe.