What kind of man is Robert Mugabe? How did the internationally feted liberation hero of the 1970s turn into the blood-soaked tyrant of today? Heidi Holland, who knew Mugabe when they were both anti-Ian Smith activists in the 1970s, attempts to answer these questions in Dinner with Mugabe, her new “psychobiography” of the Zimbabwean president. Tom de Castella reviews the book for Prospect here. Meanwhile, Zimbabwe-watchers will not want to miss Stephen Chan’s dispatches from Harare for Prospect online, to my—entirely unbiased—mind the most in-depth and informed coverage of the Zimbabwe election crisis to be found in western media.
Also this week: Derek Brower explains how oil subsidies in the developing world are keeping the price of oil sky-high—and how they are playing havoc with the assumptions of market economists.