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Bitter Harvest: The Great Betrayal

3.83  ·  Rating Details  ·  58 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
For more than a decade, Ian Smith served as Rhodesia's Prime Minister during the era of white minority rule. Following his death in 2007, he is still a man with the ability to excite powerful emotions. To some he is a leader whose formidable integrity led him into head-to-head confrontation with the Labor government of Britain in the 1960s. To others he is a demon best kno ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published May 1st 2008 by Blake Publishing (first published June 1st 1997)
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Nov 15, 2010 Ed rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating and gripping account of the life and times of Rhodesia's last prime minister. Not only does it have a biographical section exploring Smith the man, but the real meat is the geo-political storm that eventually made Rhodesia's existence unsustainable. A remarkable portion of African history is covered from a authentically contrarian and under-represented perspective. Smith comes across as bold, defiant, righteous, and whinny at times. A worthy read for anyone interested in African an ...more
Pat Shackleford
May 20, 2009 Pat Shackleford rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: statesmen
Although the writing style is typical British and statesman like. It is intresting if you are intresting in that sort of thing.

Whites screwing whites and blacks killing blacks. Even South Africa turned against Rhodesia.

I get Smith`s idea of gradualism but it turned out that the people wanted everything immediatly.
Remarkable memoirs. His memoirs show him to be a competent and determined man with a fatal narrowness of vision.

"If Smith was a black man, I would say that he was the best Prime Minister that Zimbabwe ever had."
In Bitter Harvest, Smith meticulously tells the other side of Zimbabwe/Rhodesia's struggle for independence. He seeks to explain the reasons why his government declared its Unilateral Declaration of Independence, and how Rhodesia coped in the face of sanctions and terrorism until the pressures forced him and his government to accede to the wishes of his adversaries.

By no means unbiased, Smith's memoirs are however important in understanding the modern history of Zimbabwe and does shed some posi
Tom Hallberg
Jan 23, 2016 Tom Hallberg rated it liked it
Shelves: bio-autobio, africa
Ian Smith blamed everyone but himself. He was "always correct." This was a difficult read because I honestly believe he believed what he wrote. People like Smith are dangerous. I would recommend this book, however, to read a firsthand account of a colonial ruler in his own disturbing words.
Dec 04, 2012 Ryan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
four stars not because i agree with ian smith's assessment of the situation. do not read this book and no other regarding zimbabwe. but read it because it really illuminates the colonial mentality (aka racist).

Nov 05, 2015 Luke rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very good autobiography, if nothing else. Although it should be expected that it is one sided, Ian Smith gives the view how it is and very rightly justifies himself - most of the things he said turned out to either be absolutely true or just common sense. Oh what a shame Rhodesia fell. I wish it was longer - that's my only complaint. Very British writing too, which is always a plus. He was born a Rhodesian, he died a Rhodesian. Unfortunately, his fellow kith and kin fell and betrayed him. The ...more
Sue Robinson
Mar 13, 2013 Sue Robinson is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hard-to-read
Got this one many moons ago. Tried to read it, but found it very hard to keep up with detail at the time (pregnant, young kids etc). On the shelf to try when retired!
David Smith
Worth a look.
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Former Rhodesian Prime Minister, which unilaterally declared his country independent of Britain on 11 November 1965, and led white-minority government until 1979.
More about Ian Douglas Smith...

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