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In the years leading up to Rhodesia's Unilateral Declaration of Independence 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. "The Collapse of Rhodesia" provides a controversial reexamination of the final decades of white minority rule.

Josiah Brownell argues 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. He concludes that the UDI rebellion eventually failed because the state was unable to successfully redress white Rhodesia's fundamental demographic weaknesses. By addressing this vital demographic component of the multifaceted conflict, this book is an important contribution to the historiography of the last years of white rule in Rhodesia.

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