I s genocide a suitable subject for literature? Fergal Keane, a BBC correspondent in Rwanda at the time, insists that no description is appropriate or adequate for such horror. He is also prepared to be leisurely, indirect and even witty. The book opens in a bar in the African hills where our narrator is alone with a group of drunken soldiers, and a man in a tracksuit.
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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. In April of , the government of Rwanda called on everyone in the Hutu majority to kill everyone in the Tutsi minority. Over the next three months, , Tutsis were murdered in the most unambiguous case of genocide since Hitler's war against the Jews.
Philip Gourevitch's haunting work is an anatomy of the killings in Rwanda, a vivid history of the genocide's backgrou In April of , the government of Rwanda called on everyone in the Hutu majority to kill everyone in the Tutsi minority.
Philip Gourevitch's haunting work is an anatomy of the killings in Rwanda, a vivid history of the genocide's background, and an unforgettable account of what it means to survive in its aftermath.
Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published September 4th by Picador first published September 30th More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Is this book's view on Paul Kagame realistic, or only the official account that makes him look like a knight on a white horse? Bigsoph I cannot answer whether that is true or not all I can say is that there was already bad blood. Whether there was a grudge over some past grievance, it …more I cannot answer whether that is true or not all I can say is that there was already bad blood.
Whether there was a grudge over some past grievance, it cannot be a legitimate response to commit attempted genocide. Let me tell you a personal story: I once worked for a government human rights commission and, in the process of my work, I got to meet a very prestigious indigenous chief from a New Brunswick tribe.
I had recently found out that one of my great grandparents had run one of the residential schools for native children look it up, it is horrifying I approached the gentleman in question I am sad to say my usual skill in remembering people's names has demonstrated itself once again and explained I wanted to apologize for what my ancestors did.
He said, "you didn't do it yourself; you have no need to be sorry. Maybe one of my ancestors scalped one of yours, if it makes you feel better. I still feel an ache for what my ancestors did, but it is on them now, not me The problem with what you are saying, is it makes the Hutu action seem "justified" And, at some point, it has to stop less. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters.
Sort order. To be honest, Gourevitch's book doesn't sound inviting. What book about genocide could? And its title alone suggests a kind of vicious, heart-stopping sadness that many of us would prefer to turn away from. Which may, in fact, be the point. Either way, Gourevitch's writing won't let you turn away. He tells the story of the Rwandan genocide in a prose so wonderfully crafted and infused with anger and insight as to be nearly hypnotic.
From the opening pages, the young reporter confronts his own ve To be honest, Gourevitch's book doesn't sound inviting. From the opening pages, the young reporter confronts his own very mixed emotions as he tours a schoolhouse where decomposed cadavers, piled two and three high, carpet the floors of several rooms. I wanted to see them, I suppose; I had come to see them.
Yet looking at the buildings and the bodies, and hearing the silence of the place, with the grand Italianate basilica standing there deserted, and beds of exquisite, decadent, death-fertilized flowers blooming over the corpses it was still strangely unimaginable.
I mean one still had to imagine it. It took days in for ruling Hutus to slaughter , of their Tutsi countrymen. But such a statistic only cracks open the door to a world where the victims were killed not by gas or ovens but with swinging machetes; where preachers presided over the killing of their parishes, husbands over the killing of their wives; where the French army intervened in favor of the killers and the U. Apparently, international concern was focused more on disease than genocide. Through a myriad of interviews -- with unflagging energy he talks to survivors, killers, politicians and generals -- Gourevitch helps bring a dose of understanding and even, improbably, hope to the madness.
He is at his most interesting, though, when speculating on the fate of Rwandan society. In a remarkable bit of analysis, he suggests that the very fact of Rwandan culture that helped usher in the killing -- Rwandans' tendency to do as they are told -- may, in fact, help restore calm.
How else can the government integrate so many killers back into society except to order that it be so? View all 4 comments.
Mar 29, Melissa rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites , you-should-read-these. When I would tell my friends about how great of a book this is, I got a lot of, "I can't read that, it's too upsetting. And I know what they mean. But seriously, you should read this book anyway. And not just because it's important to understand the things that have gone on in this world during our time and before in order to change the future.
Also because Gourevitch discusses some things in this book that I've never When I would tell my friends about how great of a book this is, I got a lot of, "I can't read that, it's too upsetting.
Also because Gourevitch discusses some things in this book that I've never read discussion of anywhere else. For instance, he writes about Rwanda's then-Vice President and now President Kagame: "Because he was not an ideologue, Kagame was often called a pragmatist. But that suggests an indifference to principle and He says: "against those who preferred violence to reason, Kagame was ready to fight.
I mean, golly. For some reason, reading that makes my heart race with excitement. There's another part, too, that makes me pretty much freak out, and it's on page when talking about how the people guilty of genocide tried and mostly succeeded in reshaping the conversation about the genocide to hide their guilt. He says, "With the lines so drawn, the war about the genocide was truly a postmodern war: a battle between those who believed that because the realities we inhabit are constructs of our imaginations, they are all equally true or false, valid or invalid, just or unjust, and those who believed that constructs of reality can -- in fact, must -- be judged as right or wrong, good or bad.
Gourevitch shows us, in this book, how denying objective reality can be a matter of life or death or, at the very least, justice or injustice. I have more to say about the book, like how I learned from it that that crazy person who crazy people on street corners across America give out weird political tracts about, Lyndon LaRouche, spread information that the Tutsis committed genocide against the Hutus, not the other way around, and they did it with help from British royalty or some such thing.
Ahhh, you know, I always assumed that LaRouche guy was insane because his followers tend to have those crazy eyes, but thanks, this confirms it. And I have more to talk about than that. Lots more. Hey, you should read the book, and then we can talk about it, ok? View all 6 comments. It would seem that such a brutal ordeal would be beneath us in the 's, the stuff of darker days such as what occurred during the Holocaust and the Cambodian Genocide, but sadly the Rwandan Genocide not only took place less than thirty years ago, but little effort was made initially to stop it.
This book is much more than just writing. It's a shocking but necessary piece of history discussing the experiences of those who lived and died back in , as well as what led up to the genocide. If It would seem that such a brutal ordeal would be beneath us in the 's, the stuff of darker days such as what occurred during the Holocaust and the Cambodian Genocide, but sadly the Rwandan Genocide not only took place less than thirty years ago, but little effort was made initially to stop it.
If one thing is made clear, there will never be any excuse as to why this incident occurred in the first place. While the blame could be laid on several factors contributing, what speaks volumes louder are the people affected, mostly the Tutsi population.
While Africa may seem a long way away for many readers, this book really puts things into perspective - we always think that could never be us but these were ordinary people just like anybody else, and politics, power and class warfare pitted people against each other, the effects of which continue to this day.
This book might be older but it's still no less important and a very worthwhile read. View 1 comment. Apr 29, Heidi rated it it was amazing Shelves: nonfiction , social-issues , africa , politics , history.
This is not an easy book to read. But Gourevitch takes a tragedy about which most of the world knows very little -- the genocide of Rwandan Tutsis in -- and he thoroughly explores it, and along the way he humanizes it. This is a story about genocide, about war and politics, yes, but moreover it's a story about the people who lived through the horror of genocide, and those who died.
Gourevitch talks to anyone who will tell him their story, it seems: survivors of the genocide, military offici This is not an easy book to read. Gourevitch talks to anyone who will tell him their story, it seems: survivors of the genocide, military officials, humanitarian aid workers, politicians, and even accused and confessed murderers, and he tries to make sense of how such a large-scale monstrosity could occur, and how it could be so easily ignored by the rest of the world.
He condemns the UN and Western nations rather harshly, but long before you reach the end of the book you are convinced that they deserve every ounce of condemnation he gives them, and more, for their failure to intercede in one of the most devastating human tragedies of the 20th century. This is not a book that can or should be read quickly.
It's frightening, and educational, and mind-boggling, and gripping, and infuriating, and most of all it's terribly sad.
It's also a fascinating insight into a darker part of humanity -- not only those who committed the genocide, but those who, through inaction, allowed it to happen.
It is important, it is well worth reading, and it is highly recommended.
We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families
Jump to navigation. Learn more about this notice. Author Phillip Gourevitch, staff writer at The New Yorker and contributing editor to the Forward, reports from most of the world, but especially from Asia, Africa and Europe. Gourevitch traveled to Rwanda multiple times, in order to gather information for putting this book together. The genocide involved two African tribes, the Hutus and the Tutsis. The book is divided up into three sections: before the genocide, during the genocide and finally, after the genocide.
Genocide in Rwanda: Philip Gourevitch's non-fiction classic
The book describes Gourevitch's travels in Rwanda after the Rwandan genocide , in which he interviews survivors and gathers information. Gourevitch retells survivors' stories, and reflects on the meaning of the genocide. The title comes from an April 15, , letter written to Pastor Elizaphan Ntakirutimana , president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church 's operations in western Rwanda , by several Adventist pastors who had taken refuge with other Tutsis in an Adventist hospital in the locality of Mugonero in Kibuye prefecture. Gourevitch accused Ntakirutimana of aiding the killings that happened in the complex the next day. Ntakirutimana was eventually convicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. The book not only explains the genocide's peak in , but the history of Rwanda leading up to the major events. Polk Award for Foreign Reporting.
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An unforgettable firsthand account of a people's response to genocide and what it tells us about humanity. This remarkable debut book chronicles what has happened in Rwanda and neighboring states since , when the Rwandan government called on everyone in the Hutu majority to murder everyone in the Tutsi minority. Though the killing was low-tech--largely by machete--it was carried out at shocking speed: some , people were exterminated in a hundred days. A Tutsi pastor, in a letter to his church president, a Hutu, used the chilling phrase that gives Philip Gourevitch his title.