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Dinner with Mugabe: The Untold Story of a…
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Dinner with Mugabe: The Untold Story of a Freedom Fighter who Became a… (edition 2008)

by Heidi Holland (Author)

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1134213,015 (3.5)1
At a time when the world waits anxiously to see what will happen next in Zimbabwe - when there is little food in the country's shops, life expectancy is plunging and Zimbabweans are fleeing repression and unemployment - this book gets to grips with the man at the helm of a corrupt regime; the man behind the monster. Holland's tireless investigation begins with her having dinner with Mugabe the freedom fighter and ends in a searching interview with Zimbabwe's president in December 2007, more than 30 years later.… (more)
Member:ggeldenhuis
Title:Dinner with Mugabe: The Untold Story of a Freedom Fighter who Became a Tyrant
Authors:Heidi Holland (Author)
Info:Penguin Global (2008), Edition: 1st, 272 pages
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Dinner with Mugabe: The Untold Story of a Freedom Fighter Who Became a Tyrant by Heidi Holland

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I enjoyed this book and learned a lot about Zimbabwe and of course Mugabe. Very insightful on many levels, in particular the au the author describes the body language used by her interview subjects to gain further insight into what was said. It’s not it’s what was said, but also, how it was said. However, I found her psychological analysis of Mugabe to be over simplistic, naive and almost childish, and of little use in explaining his behaviour and transformation from academic into monster. ( )
  jvgravy | Aug 14, 2019 |
Heidi Holland the author was a white Rhodesian who was against the white minority Government. In 1975 she provided dinner for Robert Mugabe who was on the run, at her home. He met with another man and the next day he telephoned her to thank her. She wanted to know how the man she had met so briefly could become the man who killed tens of thousands in the 1980's and who drove his country into economic ruins. She was interested in what made the man and each chapter looks at a different aspect of his life, from his childhood to an interview with the man himself in 2007. It answered many questions I had such as how did he become involved in the bush war also known as the second chimurenga, how did he became leader and what happened in the early days of Zimbabwe. The only aspect some might find annoying is the personality profiles of Mugabe. I'm uncertain if they add or subtract from the biographical nature of the rest of the book. It is a good read and very informative if your interested in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe. ( )
  bookmarkaussie | Apr 19, 2014 |
Dinner With Mugabe is all about the untold story of an African freedom fighter who turned into a ruthless dictator and tyrant, abusing his country in the process. The book is about the part of Mugabe's life that many around the world have refused or turned to look at. It focuses on some of the key issues that have pressed against Mugabe's life from childhood until recent times.

Mugabe grew up with a brilliant elder brother who passed away and a father who ran away from his life. Mugabe was brought up in the Catholic Church, told he was going to be great when he grew up, and was lead to believe he was special and set aside from others. Throughout his childhood and entire life Mugabe really had very few friends and overall, very few who genuinely cared for him.

Being a worthy scholar, he was asked if he would take part in a revolution in Zimbabwe. He was summoned and got into politics because he was asked to. As time progressed, Mugabe led guerrilla troops and then was imprisoned for 11 years by the merciless and white supremacist named Ian Smith.

The hatred and bitterness brewed in Mugabe, though he showed little of it on the outside by demonstrating lies and deceiving others involved and maybe even himself. The author talks to and interviews many of the most important people who played roles in Mugabe's life. They all have an interesting twist or versions of what went wrong and who was to blame for the downfall of Zimbabwe.

Some of the interviewees suggested that, Mugabe has an utterly distorted view. He claims he has done nothing wrong and many presume he genuinely believes that. He has blotted out the reality of his country and only sees his ideal life and if others disagree, he eliminates them from the game. He simply cannot and will not accept being wrong or somehow at fault. He will listen to what others say, even agree, but most of the time he keeps his innermost emotions bottled up and hidden away.

Mugabe "maintains a false and heroic view of himself, by dividing himself in such a way that one side of him does not know about the other."

In the end the author suggests that Mugabe could have been a great leader, but with thinking he had all the right answers instead of listening to others, not learning from his mistakes, and not being a friend, Mugabe became a disillusioned and ended up distorting a great nation.

Lesson: Although Mugabe grew up in a harsh environment and much of his hatred was fostered by colonialism, he has no explanation for the thousands of his own people who have suffered. We should learn to take responsibility for our actions, admit our wrongdoings, and seek forgiveness. If we simply cannot admit our wrongdoings we entertain a false sense of reality, distorting our worldview, and hurting those around us. Let's strive to not be like Mugabe.

Review by Mark Wiens

Article Source: Dinner With Mugabe ( )
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  audreyl1969 | Jun 24, 2010 |
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At a time when the world waits anxiously to see what will happen next in Zimbabwe - when there is little food in the country's shops, life expectancy is plunging and Zimbabweans are fleeing repression and unemployment - this book gets to grips with the man at the helm of a corrupt regime; the man behind the monster. Holland's tireless investigation begins with her having dinner with Mugabe the freedom fighter and ends in a searching interview with Zimbabwe's president in December 2007, more than 30 years later.

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