20 November, 2011

The Fear

Title: The Fear: The Last Days of Robert Mugabe
Author: Peter Godwin
Genre: Non Fiction
Audience: Adult
Format: Library

From GoodreadsIn mid-2008, after thirty years of increasingly tyrannical rule, Robert Mugabe, the eighty-four-year-old ruler of Zimbabwe, met his politburo. He had just lost an election. But instead of conceding power, he was persuaded to launch a brutal campaign of terror to cower his citizens. Journalist and author Peter Godwin was one of the few observers to slip into the country and bear witness to the terrifying period that Zimbabweans call, simply, the Fear. Following on from his compelling and moving memoirs, "Mukiwa" and "When a Crocodile Eats the Sun", this is a personal journey through the country Peter Godwin grew up in and knows so well - a landscape and a people, grotesquely altered, laid waste by a raging despot. At considerable risk, he travels widely to see the torture bases, the burned villages, the death squads, the opposition leaders in hiding, the last white farmers, the churchmen and the diplomats putting their own lives on the line to stop the carnage. Told with Godwin's brilliant eye for character and natural story-telling gifts, this dark story of Africa's corruption and violence is populated by extraordinary characters whose lives have been shaped by the Fear.

What I thought: Do not read this book if you have a weak stomach. In fact, even if you have a strong stomach, prepare to be nauseated on a regular basis. Peter Godwin's account of the atrocities that have occurred in Mugabe's Zimbabwe is stomach turning. From the running off of white farmers, to the torture of those who support the opposition, Mugabe has taken Zimbabwe from a once prosperous, peaceful country to a hell on earth. I had to stop several times while reading this and go to something lighter. Unfortunately those living there don't have the same luxury.

Recommended for: those who want to bear witness to those who suffer for their beliefs.

Challenges:  100+ Challenge,