Violence & Memory

One Hundred Years in the Dark Forests of Matebeleland, Zimbabwe

Joann McGregor, Jocelyn Alexander & Terence O. Ranger



This is an extremely complex and disturbing book which cries out for comparative studies elsewhere in Africa. It is a book that establishes trains of thought that keep popping up; one continues to mull over the many and varied aspects of violence and memory touched upon long after one has stopped reading. At first glance the subject matter of the book appears simple: the history of a geographically defined area and people's memory of this area. But as with so many seemingly simple formulae, the ever increasing complexity and permutations are awe-inspiring.


Anyone who wants to understand Zimbabwe's current path to authoritarian rule would do well to begin with this richly-layered and thought-provoking study. - Shula Marks, The English Historical Review


Joann McGregor is professor of Human Geography at the University of Sussex.

Jocelyn Alexander is professor of Commonwealth Studies at Oxford University. Her research interests lie in the social and political history of southern Africa.

Terence O. Ranger was a prominent African historian, focusing on the history of Zimbabwe. His work spanned the pre- and post-Independence period in Zimbabwe, from the 1960s to the present. He died in 2015.