John Richard Taylor Wood, BA(Hons) (Rhodes), PhD (Edinburgh), FRHistS. Dr Richard Wood was born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe (then Southern Rhodesia). He was educated at St George's College in Harare (then Salisbury), Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa, and Edinburgh University, Scotland. He was a Commonwealth scholar and is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He was the Ernest Oppenheimer Memorial Research Fellow at the University of Rhodesia and a Professor of History at the University of Durban-Westville, South Africa. This book, A Matter of Weeks Rather than Months: Sanctions and Abortive Settlements: 1965-1969, is the product of 37 years researching the history of Rhodesia. Given exclusive access to papers of the former Prime Minister of Rhodesia, Ian Smith, this is the third book in a series covering the post-Second World War story of Rhodesia. The other two volumes are The Welensky Papers: A History of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, 1953-1963 (1983) and So Far and No Further! Rhodesia's bid for independence during the retreat from Empire 1959-1965 (2005). He is at work on a third as yet untitled volume covering the period 1970-1980.
He is also a military historian, having served as a territorial soldier in the 1st and 8th Battalions, the Rhodesia Regiment, and in the Mapping and Research Unit of the Rhodesian Intelligence Corps. He has published The War Diaries of André Dennison (1989), numerous articles, conference papers and chapters in books, including in a forthcoming book on counter-insurgency.
Eugene H. Berwanger uses archival sources in both Britain and the United States as a basis for his reevaluation of consular attitudes. Because much of this material was not available to earlier historians of British-American diplo-macy, the author expands upon their conclusions and suggests reinterpreta-tions in light of the new information.
The first comprehensive investigation of Anglo-American relations during the Civil War, The British Foreign Service and the American Civil War will interest scholars of American history and diplomatic relations.
Ian Smith's unilateral declaration of independence for Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) on 11 November 1965 was seen by many as the act of a rebellious white minority seeking to preserve their privileged position in defiance of Britain's determination to shed her Empire and introduce rule by the African majority as soon as possible.
However, the drama of UDI has long overshadowed and oversimplified the complexities of the preceding years. In this account of that time, based on sole access to the hitherto closed papers of Ian Douglas Smith and Sir Roy Welensky, as well as extensive research at London's Public Record Office, and in government and private collections elsewhere, Dr J.R.T. Wood chronicles the collision course on which Britain and Rhodesia were set after 1959, complementing his study of the fate of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland in his definitive 'The Welensky Papers: A History of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland 1953-1963'.
Britain, Wood shows, was intent on shedding her Empire as quickly as possible against a backdrop of the Cold War and the rise of Chinese- and Soviet-sponsored African nationalism. She delivered some 600 one man, one vote constitutions to her fledgling nations and had no intention of granting Rhodesia independence on different terms. Unlike Britain's other African possessions, however, Rhodesia had enjoyed self-governance since 1923. The largely white Rhodesian electorate, wary of the consequences of premature and ill-prepared majority rule, sought instead dominion status akin to that of Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Their intention was gradually to pave the way for majority rule: since 1923, Rhodesia's electoral qualifications had excluded race. It was always understood that the African majority would acquire power; the concern was the speed and smoothness of that acquisition.
Culminating in those dramatic days of November 1965 when Ian Smith concluded in the face of resolute British stonewalling that he had no alternative but UDI, this unique account is the first in a series which chronicles the course of events that ultimately led to Robert Mugabe's accession to power in 1980, and all that entailed.