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Hardcover Where We Have Hope: A Memoir of Zimbabwe Book

ISBN: 0719566509

ISBN13: 9780719566509

Where We Have Hope: A Memoir of Zimbabwe

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Book Overview

American-born journalist Andrew Meldrum was seized and expelled from Zimbabwe in May 2003, forced to leave for writing bad things about President Robert Mugabe's regime. Here, Meldrum describes what... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

There is still hope for Zimbabwe

As a visitor to Zimbabwe - I love it there, the people, the landscape, the optimism everything. And to read a book which does echo how most of the people feel is rare. There is still hope that Mugabe will be removed and democracy prevail. The so called issue with white and blacks is not as the media and Mugabe portray at all. People just want their freedom and a decent economy so they can have a standard of living above the poverty line. Andrew Meldrum may be biased as he does love Zim and the people but its about time that the truth is highlighted as no one has tried to prevent this on the international scene. I'm glad someone has tried to show the world what is really happening in Zimbabwe.


In May 2003 Guardian journalist Andrew Meldrum was seized by Robert Mugabe's thugs and deported, forced to leave for writing `bad things' about Mugabe's regime. This was the shocking end to a grim journey. For twenty years, Meldrum had lived through Zimbabwe's transformation - from the African beacon of hope to violent despotism. This is his story. It is also a testament to the power of hope. Throughout Zimbabwe, doctors, teachers, journalists and lawyers have refused to accept Mugabe's rule. Meldrum depicts their courage and heroism in moments of intense drama and tension. Where We Have Hope is a moving account of a life lived in a world of extremes - of ugly tyranny and of the extraordinary friendships and passionate beliefs that it inspires.

Moved me deeply

As a Zimbabwean living abroad I sceptically picked up a copy of this book. I would read with dread Andrew Meldrums daily news reports on the dire and continually worsening situation in Zimbabwe on a Zimbabwean news website. I was very pleasantly surprised by the depth of feeling he developed for the country and his positive outlook in this book. I was moved by all his personal experiences and interactions with people there and the dangers he faced on a daily basis just doing his job. Someone needed to speak up and let the international community know about the teriible things that went happened in Zimbabwe from Gukurahundi to the farm invasions and I admire him for his bravery and perseverance. He chronicled our history from an eyewitness point of view and brought it all alive again. It allowed me to relive the 80's and 90's again. I cringe whenever I hear news of Zimbabwe on the television but this book made me feel proud to be Zimbabwean and I have recommended to my non-Zimbabwean friends as a way of understanding what happened to Zimbabwe. Excellent book!

Good Memoir, So-So History

Andrew Meldrum is an American journalist who moved to Zimbabwe shortly after the country won its independence in 1980. He fell in love with the place and decided to put down roots, only to watch Robert Mugabe destroy Zimbabwe's economy and institutions in a bid to hang on to power. Meldrum was expelled in 2003 because of his critical reporting. To judge by his book, he got around the country, exposed human rights abuses, and showed courage in the face of harassment and a trumped up prosecution. Granted, his writing verges on treacle at times, and he's too politically "engaged" to be completely credible as a journalist -- but then it's hard to be fair and balanced when writing about a dictator like Mugabe. Meldrum has guts and his heart is in the right place. That said, his book adds little to our knowledge of Zimbabwe. As a good journalist, Meldrum sticks closely to his personal experiences. Unfortunately, these consisted mostly of observing rallies and marches, interviewing opposition activists, consulting his maid about popular political attitudes, comparing notes with other journalists, and getting arrested. We learn little about the inner workings of ZANU-PF or the reasons for the economic collapse. Mugabe is no more than a stock villian. The rural Shona are a mystery. The role of white business in funding anti-Mugabe activity is alluded to but not discussed. We don't even learn about the contentious, often dysfunctional leadership of the opposition MDC party, or about MDC's rocky relationship with unions and civil society, even though Meldrum had friends and contacts in these camps. Overall, there are too many anecdotes and too little analysis. Readers who want an introduction to Zimbabwe's modern history would be better off reading Martin Meredith's superb "Our Votes, Our Guns." But readers who want a lively personal story will enjoy "Where We Have Hope."

A Fascinating Review of a Nation's Struggles

Meldrum delivers an excellent albeit admittedly biased depiction of Zimbabwe's efforts to come to grips with independence and the fight of the nation's majority against the power hungry Mugabe regime. The narrative is flawed at points as Meldrum's personal views as a journalist sometimes get in the way of providing a truly objective account, but on the whole his biases are forgivable and would be shared by the vast majority of people living in industrialized nations. For the most part, Meldrum offers a detailed description of Zimbabwe's troubled political scene and the rash of human rights offenses plaguing the country interspersed with personal accounts of his time spent in the country and his struggles as a foreign correspondent, leaving the reader with concern for the present state of affairs and, as the title suggests, a bright hope for the future.
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