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May 2017
864 pages

ISBN 978-0-620-75293-0

ZAR 350 + postage

Kingdom, power, glory

Mugabe, Zanu and the quest for supremacy,


By Stuart Doran


The early years of Zimbabwe’s independence were blighted by conflict and bloodshed, culminating in the Gukurahundi massacres of 1983 and 1984. Historian Stuart Doran explores these events in unprecedented detail, drawing on thousands of previously unpublished documents, including classified records from Mugabe’s Central Intelligence Organisation, apartheid South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia and Canada.

This groundbreaking book charts the development of an intense rivalry between two nationalist parties—Robert Mugabe’s Zanu and Joshua Nkomo’s Zapu—and reveals how Zanu’s victory in the elections of 1980 was followed by a carefully orchestrated five-year plan, driven by Mugabe, which sought to smash all forms of political opposition and impose a one-party state.

Doran shows not only what happened during Zimbabwe’s darkest chapter, but why—and why it still matters. In an expansive narrative saturated with new findings, he documents a culture of political intolerance in which domination and subjugation became the only options, and traces the rise of the key proponents of this supremacist ideology.

Kingdom, power, glory: Mugabe, Zanu and the quest for supremacy, 1960–1987 is the most comprehensive history of Zimbabwe’s formative years and is essential reading for anyone hoping to understand the Mugabe regime, then and now.

About the author:

Stuart Doran is an independent historian. He graduated from the Australian National University with a PhD in history and currently lives and works in South Africa.


“Stuart Doran’s ... Kingdom, power, glory  is a book of towering importance for the African continent and I cannot recommend it too highly.”

Lord David Owen, former British Foreign Secretary, Daily Maverick, March 2018

“Monumentally researched, monumentally annotated and evidenced, and monumentally impressive. An intensely revelatory work”.

Sunday Times Alan Paton Award shortlisting, 2018

“Stuart Doran’s exceptionally detailed masterpiece, voracious in its veracity, towers by miles over the rest – indeed above anything I have read on Zimbabwean political history. Kingdom, Power, Glory allows no doubt about ZANU-PF’s insatiable desire for total power – and, perhaps singularly, Mugabe’s.”

Professor David Moore, South African Journal of International Affairs, June 2018

“In his meticulous study of Mugabe’s quest for supremacy, Kingdom, Power, Glory, Stuart Doran, an Australian historian, concludes that ‘violence was, for Mugabe, the most effective and gratifying means of dealing with adversaries of any complexion’”.

Martin Meredith, Times Literary Supplement, September 2017

The most authoritative account of the [Gukurahundi] atrocity ... A chilling account of the evolution of a de facto one-party state and of Robert Mugabe’s ruthless rise to dominance.

Michael Holman, Financial Times, July 2018

“The first in-depth study of the Gukurahundi …  Exposes the complicity of many senior leaders in Zimbabwe and the gravity of their crimes … Compelling detail … A comprehensive history … It draws heavily on previously unpublished diplomatic communiqués and other papers … The use of contemporary data proves unequivocally the guilt of many leading politicians and other ZANU PF functionaries, something that previous books and reports have been unable to do.”

David Coltart, author of The struggle continues: 50 years of tyranny in Zimbabwe

“Enthralling ... meticulously researched ... As a journalist who lived in Zimbabwe from Independence [in 1980] to almost the end of 1996, it’s hard to admit that after a thorough reading of Doran’s book, I now realise I had little knowledge about what was really going on at the time ... And mine is not the only voice of regret. Every honest journalist I’ve spoken to about this new book says the same thing – ‘We didn’t know much, did we?’ ... It stands as a monument to good research, fine writing and a deep understanding of Zimbabwe’s past and present problems. It is essential reading for anyone trying to make sense of a hard to understand country”.

Trevor Grundy, Politicsweb, December 2017

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