In This Review

The Road to Zimbabwe, 1890-1980
The Road to Zimbabwe, 1890-1980
By Anthony Verrier
Jonathan Cape, 1986, 364 pp

From Britain's imperial heyday through its brief and grudging resumption of responsibility before finally relinquishing it in Rhodesia, the British were, according to Verrier, guilty of colonialist transgressions and more recently implicit white-settler biases. Though his air of revelation in unveiling the "real truth" about rather well-known historical events sometimes seems unfounded, Verrier's account of the two-month cease-fire and election campaign leading to Zimbabwe's independence is riveting to read while illuminating an extraordinary political passage: perhaps in spite of himself, he shows that while Britain's Tory government undoubtedly hoped and planned for Bishop Muzorewa's election, the probity of British institutions triumphed handily over murkier intentions.