In the years leading up to Rhodesia's Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) in 1965, its small and transient white population was balanced precariously atop a large and fast-growing African population. This unstable political demography was set against the backdrop of continent-wide decolonisation and a parallel rise in African nationalism within Rhodesia. As the UDI rebellion moved into the 1970s, several political and economic factors combined to stretch the demographically fragile settler state to the breaking point. 'The Collapse of Rhodesia' is a controversial reexamination of these final decades of white minority rule. It lays out the case that racial population demographics and the pressures they produced were a pervasive, but hidden, force behind many of Rhodesia's most dramatic political events, including UDI. It was within this context that the escalation of the guerrilla war in 1972 added new pressures and exacerbated pre-existing demographic frailties which eventually ended the decade and a half settler rebellion. The book argues that notwithstanding the settler state's aggressive attempts to engineer racial demographics in the 1960s and 1970s, the UDI rebellion eventually failed because the state was unable to successfully redress white Rhodesia's fundamental demographic weaknesses. As the product of extensive research in previously closed archives, the book reaches new conclusions that challenge many of Rhodesia's historical orthodoxies. By addressing this vital demographic component of the multifaceted conflict, 'The Collapse of Rhodesia' is an important contribution to the historiography of the last years of white rule in Rhodesia.
Collapse of Rhodesia
Population Demographics and the Politics of Race