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When a Crocodile Eats the Sun: A Memoir of Africa Paperback – April 10, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
It is easy for armchair critics to point accusing fingers at colonialism, and to say that whites created many of their own problems, and bequeathed to Africa many of the problems it faces today, but it's not as simple as that. Whatever white Rhodesians did, they did not deserve to be treated the way Mugabe has treated them in the last decade. Black Zimbabweans are by far the biggest losers, though, have suffered on a far greater level, and must regret the manner in which their country - once the great hope of Africa - has been driven into the ground by the venal and short-sighted thuggery of Mugabe and his acolytes.
But it isn't just Africa or Zimbabwe - this is also a story about how bad leadership can lead to widespread social collapse, and bring out the very worst in human nature. Godwin's story about the way his family's maid Mavis was encouraged to turn against them is symbolic of how easy it is for even the best human souls to be turned by fear and intimidation. The case of Zimbabwe shows that the line between stability and anarchy, between security and insecurity, is often very fine.Read more ›
I picked up this book because a branch of my family settled in Southern Rhodesia sometime during the fifties; my cousin and her husband died there, as did my aunt who emigrated there from Virginia after her husband's death in the eighties. Communications from them were brief and free of political comment. I once asked why they did not write more and was told, "The mail is censored and it would be dangerous." I knew that they were moderates politically and were not in favor of the conservative Ian Smith government which determinedly maintained white minority rule from 1965 to 1980. I had no idea why this would be so dangerous, but now I know.
The book covers the years between July 1996, when Peter goes back to Zimbabwe because of his father's failing health, and February 2004, when his father dies. Only during this illness does Peter learn that his father was born Kazio Goldfarb, a Polish Jew who met and married his mother in England after serving in World War II, and who emigrated to Rhodesia in 1949 as George Godwin, "a new man...fleeing racial persecution and war, mayhem and genocide." We come to love Peter's parents George and Helen. They are honest, fair, thoughtful and loving people who show unbelievable courage and inventiveness in dealing with declining health in a society that is sinking into chaos.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I’m not sure how to rate this book. It appeared to me at once a biographical about the depressing early years of an independent Zimbabwe; on the other hand, it devolved into a most... Read morePublished 22 days ago by Tony Edwards
This book was very informative but very disturbing. I would not say I enjoyed reading it but I certainly learned a lot about Africa. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Wmgrar
Too much about relatives history in WWII Germany - drags at end going thru his fathers passingPublished 4 months ago by Tom S
An excellent book that is both a memoir and a chronicle of how a once prosperous nation with a promising future deteriorated at the hands of despot determined to hang on to power... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Andrew Igbo
I thoroughly enjoyed the book as well as feeling such sorrow for the way the native people have to live under their own people. A very moving bookPublished 7 months ago by Susan Ritten
Can't seem to get out of I. Hoe to get it at a later time. Wish me a lot of luck.Published 7 months ago by Deborah Hershkowitz
Fascinating true account of the absurd madness of Robert Mugabe and his henchmen and how to wreck a thriving economy due to 100% incompetence. Racial prejudice prevails.... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Tuli.
A great read about important events and times. A really enlightening tale which examined generally known happenings in a very detailed and shocking context. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Jenny D.