50th out of 52 books — 42 voters
Rwanda Means the Universe: A Native's Memoir of Blood and Bloodlines
Mushikiwabo is a Rwandan working as a translator in Washington when she learns that most of her family back home has been killed in a conspiracy meticulously planned by the state. First comes shock, then aftershock, three months of it, during which her worst fears are confirmed: The same state apparatus has duped millions of Rwandans into butchering nearly a million of the...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published April 4th 2006 by St. Martin's Press
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The book that I read was Rwanda Means the Universe. The book is about the Rwandan genocide. The author, Louise Mushikiwabo, does a good job in telling the story of what happened there, albeit from an outside perspective. The story is told from the perspective of her family members, since she was in the U.S. during the time of the genocide, which I believe is a weak point in the story, since it’s not coming from a primary source. The way that she narrates the story is, in my opinion, difficult to...more
Wow. An amazing introduction to the history of Rwanda, from colonial times through the 1994 genocide. Plus the true story, quite moving, of a family and its development over the same time period. Highly recommended if you are interested in learning more about Rwanda/Central Africa and the political and social context leading up to the atrocities of '94.
Feb 28, 2008 Steve Wehling rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Steve by: Michael
Great compliment to "Shake Hands with the Devil" by Romeo Dallaire. This book provides a history of the political and social development of Rwanda. Mushikiwabo has a really compelling writing style. Where Dallaire's book provides a step-by-step account of the genocide, Mushikiwabo's book provides a description of the events, some by fate and others by design, which culminated in the 1994 genocide and the continuing strife in neighboring countries. The tone is often sadly nostalgic, and the wound...more
I read this book after watching the films Sometimes in April, Hotel Rwanda and reading the book Shake Hands with the Devil. Rwanda means the universe added so much context and history to the tragedy of Rwanda, and from an African storyteller that one can see why and how things unfolded as they did.