How The U.S. Aided Robert Mugabe’s Rise

Facing almost certain impeachment, Robert Mugabe has resigned, ending his 40-year rule in Zimbabwe. And while it’s tempting to see the attempted coup that preceded his resignation as purely a problem of a foreign dictator who has overstayed his welcome, the rise of Mugabe was actually intimately tied up with U.S. Cold War politics.

Nancy Mitchell is a professor of history at NC State University and author of “Jimmy Carter in Africa: Race and the Cold War,” which won the American Academy of Diplomacy’s Douglas Dillon Award and The Society of Historians of American Foreign Relations’ Robert Ferrell Prize.