Item description for Bitter Harvest: The Great Betrayal and the Dreadful Aftermath by Ian Smith...
This book is the autobiography of Ian Smith, the last Prime Minister of Rhodesia. After discussing his early life, Smith tells how he sought to keep Rhodesia on a path to full democracy during the West's decolonization of Africa.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.21" Width: 5.98" Height: 1.57" Weight: 1.85 lbs.
Release Date Feb 1, 2001
Publisher John Blake
ISBN 1903402050 ISBN13 9781903402054
Availability 0 units.
More About Ian Smith
Ian Smith, M.D., has been an award-winning medical correspondent for NBC News and a contributor to the "Today show. He is a medical columnist for "Men's Health magazine and a commentator for NPR's Tavis Smiley show and for the nationally syndicated TV talk show "The View. He lives in New York City.
Reviews - What do customers think about Bitter Harvest: The Great Betrayal and the Dreadful Aftermath?
As long as you know what to do with it. Mar 16, 2006
This book is not a correct account of what happened in Rhodesia, but a correct account of what some people in power thought was happening. In some areas Mr. Smith was incredibly wrong, but in others he was very right. The western countries rubber stamp system of de-colonization allowed some very bad rulers to come to power, much worse than Botha or Smith could ever be. In principle I understand what Smith was doing, but he should have agreed to the UK's demands earlier. The only result of this positively is that South Africa learned alot from his mistakes.
As long as you don't believe every single word, this is a great insightful book. I agree with Smith on his take that Rhodesia made a terrible mistake by not joining the Union of South Africa, thereby allowing the 1948 election to happen there.
Regardless what has happened to Zimbabwe/Rhodesia is sad, and the west and later Africa should of never let it happen.
I highly suggest reading "Tomorrow is another country," by Martin Meredith for what I think is the best account of Rhodesia's story.
A must read, fascinating account Mar 5, 2004
Few books detail the truth about Mugabe's Zimbabwe and the virtual ethnic cleansing of minority communities. Smith, the last minority president of Zimbabwe(then rhodesia) tells the story behind the UDA and his fight for moderation. This excellent book is an insider look at Smith's own understanding of his country and the fate of his nation. Zimbabwe, once a net exporter of grain, is now on the brink of starvation. Smith's book is readable and sheds light on what has been proven by history, the terrible suffering of Zimbabwe's people under the near-fascist dictatorship of Mugabe.
Seth J. Frantzman
Don't buy into this revisionist tripe. Apr 26, 2003
You've got to hand it to Ian Smith, he doesn't give up. Unfortunately, with Robert Mugabe massacring people left, right and centre people sometimes start to give Smith's arguments and rewriting of history credit they do not deserve.
In the world of Ian Smith as he would have you look at it, hearty Rhodesian farmers held the land in trust for grateful, happy blacks, while putting in place a slow and gentle programme of steady reform which would gradually empower a black population who were clearly not in any position to responsibly govern a great country. Meanwhile, he was brutally sold down the river by the mother country (Britain) who got foolhardy liberal ideas about self-determination and black empoerment.
The reality is somewhat different. Smith's regime has the dubious honour of outdoing Apartheid South Africa in the unpleasantness stakes. Smith's [associates] lived the high life while disenfranchised blacks were used for ... labour and segregated from white society. The failure of post-colonial governments such as Robert Mugabe's has aroused a new debate about the merits of a "benevolent colonialism." Whatever the merits of this argument, it's pretty academic because Smith's government was in no way "benevolent" and could never be held up as one of the better examples of colonial management. In fact, it could be a case study in ... abuse of power. What reforms the Smith regime implemented were hollow and deliberately rigged to make no real difference. Herculean efforts were made to stall the emergence of a well educated, politically aware black middle class which might ultimately challenge white rule. And if any of the "kaffirs" got too uppity they could always be dragged off to a cell to have electrodes attached to their privates until they changed their minds. Of course, this all came back to bite the Smith government in the backside because when it came to a shooting war, even moderate blacks had no real stake in preserving the status quo and little incentive to fall in behind the government.
During the run-up to the negotiations which resulted in the handover to black rule, Smith (who was acknowledged by everyone who dealt with him as a foul mouthed thug) toured London lecturing parties of the hard right faithful on the importance of teching the blacks to "know their place". Willie Whitelaw, not an ungenerous judge of character, described him as possibly the most unpleasant man he'd ever met. Don't be lured by the revisionist nonsense about a paternalistic, essentially benevolent regime. It was nothing of the sort.
The Great Betrayal Jan 10, 2003
Truely the greatest betrayal of a nation by the Western Democratic countries under the influence of the Organisation of African Unity. This book besides being a great read, depicts the struggle of a nation coming to grips with a change in British foreign policy. This change strikes the beginning of the end of a democratic and economically prosperous country. The sad reality of this book is that all of the Rhodesian peoples worst fears have today come true. Ian Smith lays the facts straight. A true leader, and a hard to find honest politician struggling against innumerable odds to keep Rhodesia alive. Unfortunately in the end it was not to be and the now Zimbabwe is a single party dictatorship with horrendous human rights violations, collapsed economy, and a starving people.
If you have any interest in the politics of Southern Africa during the end of British colonialism, this book is for you.
Ian Smith is spot on Nov 21, 2002
Ian Smith was a man ahead of his times. His view of the inept leadership that Africans have offered their continent is correct.
It's too bad that inevitably down the road the so called "rich countries" will have to bail that country, with or without Magabe.
We shouldn't help. Let them lie in the bed they have made.