Xan Smiley at Literary Review:
The authors of this book paint a detailed and dispassionate yet wrenching picture of the painful and bloody transformation of Rhodesia into Zimbabwe in the period following the white leader Ian Smith’s unilateral declaration of independence from Britain in 1965. Their main gift to historians is the wealth of information they provide, much of it hitherto unknown outside secret service circles, about how Rhodesia’s Special Branch, of which the authors themselves were two of the wiliest spooks, helped to keep the forces of African liberation at bay for so long.
As a correspondent in the country on and off during the decade before Robert Mugabe led the way to independence in 1980, I first met Dennis Anderson, one of the two authors, in the isolated little outpost of Chipinga (now Chipinge) in the remote southeastern highlands of Zimbabwe. It was the mid-1970s, when Mugabe’s guerrillas were infiltrating the area thick and fast, picking off white settlers, many of them diehard Afrikaners, one by one.