They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children: The Global Quest to Eradicate the Use of Child Soldiers
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They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children: The Global Quest to Eradicate the Use of Child Soldiers

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  505 ratings  ·  53 reviews
As the leader of the ill-fated United Nations peacekeeping force in Rwanda, Lieutenant-General Roméo Dallaire came face-to-face with the horrifying reality of child soldiers during the genocide of 1994. Since then the incidence of child soldiers has proliferated in conflicts around the world: they are cheap, plentiful, expendable, with an incredible capacity, once drugged...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published May 24th 2011 by Walker & Company (first published October 26th 2010)
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I picked up this book on a whim while I was at the library one day. It was an amazing book that packed such a powerful message. You can tell that Dallaire has been quite affected by what he witnessed in Rwanda. Unlike so many others, Dallaire uses his anguish for the better and has begun a campaign to eradicate the use of child soldiers. He introduces the reader to the methods used by armies and militias to collect children and indoctrinate them into a combat role. While society normally views c

I read Shake Hands With the Devil a few years ago after we learned about the Rwandan genocide in social studies. I enjoyed it but most of it seemed very political from what I remember and hard to comprehend. Recently Romeo Dallaire came to our school and spoke about the genocide, child soldiers, and how the new generation has to make a difference. This is a great book if you're interested in helping change the lives of those currently living in poverty in Africa, and his methods of how to eradic...more
This book goes beyond calling attention to the plight of child soldiers as victims. What I learned, and what I want to remember is this:
The use of child soldiers is a weapons system where the child is only the most obvious victim. As a weapons system, it is as destructive to humanity as land mines and chemical weapons. In the same way that the world has moved to condemn and eradicate the use of these two, we must do the same with the use of child soldiers. As with slavery, apartheid, civil right...more
Mikey B.
An exacting, but depressing account, of the use of children as soldiers in military combat. Mr. Dallaire describes the recruitment phase – why child soldiers are used and the extreme brutality that they undergo.

Mr. Dallaire makes a strong point that once a child soldier “has been made” the damage done to he or she will never be undone. Remoulding an ex-child soldier to adjust back into society will be long-term work and involve excruciating psychological restructuring of the former child.

Mr. Dal...more
Shonna Froebel
Stayed up late last night to finish this one as there is a waiting list for it at work. It is a heavy subject, but a very readable book. Dallaire writes in a very conversational style and the book is written like it is speaking to you directly. There are three sections where he has included a fictional child soldier and fictional UN peacekeeper to help show the feelings, and reality of the experiences.
He talks about the situations that create child soldiers, the community repercussions, the inte...more
Doriana Bisegna
While this was a heavy subject and a very concerning one, I was totally immersed in Romeo Dallaire's crusade against child soldiers! It is hard to believe what goes on in the world but it is all too real and beyond anyone's comprehension. By countries banding together and by individuals standing up for children's lives and rights to have a childhood will we eradicate this senseless practice in these underdeveloped nations. This should not exist in the world and the fact that it does shows that w...more
Jo Davies
As much as I respect L.General Dallaire as a humanitarian, I found this book a bit of a slog at the beginning. Smartly, Dallaire breaks up the factual chapters with fictionalized ones of child soldiers and an army officer, to better illustrate the horrendous nature of the use of child soldiers in combat. I suspect I've become numb to shocking descriptions after reading his book on the Rwandan genocide, but it wasn't as moving as I thought it would be. I found the factual chapters and the story o...more
I'm about half way through this book. I want to keep on top of what Romeo Dallaire is doing, since he's a bit of a hero of mine. So far it's good; can't read too much of it at once, because it is hard on the psyche. He has included what I think is a very effective fictionalized account of a child soldier's life. I like that this is a former military general writing fiction about a little boy! What a lovely man.
Why do I always kick off the new year on a downer?

I hate to say it, but I kind of wimped out on this one after the first-hand account of being a child soldier (which is fictional but a composite of what I suspect it is like). I skimmed through the rest. Still, I'm convinced that this is a big problem that is for the most part ignored. Dallaire's experiences in Rwanda seem completely horrific.
I picked up this book at the library after reading the excerpt on the back stating that child soldiers should not be viewed strictly as victims, but as a weapon system. It aroused feelings of discomfort, and I decided to borrow it and read what a former UN-peacekeeping officer has to say.

He obviously was affected deeply by what he saw in Rwanda - children being used as weapons of genocide, and in the book he describes his experience and a little of the background history of child soldiers. Throu...more
This book could be better with some more serious editing work and a little more attention to prose in the fiction chapters. At the end of the day it's not a huge detractor: Dallaire's strength is in his experiences and his knowledge, I can suffer his writing style.
An A+ high school research paper.
They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children is a book with a special personal connection for me. I received this book through a book signing at Politics and Prose in Washington DC, where I had the privilege to hear Romeo Dallaire speak about his experiences in Rwanda and in developing this project. As a conflict resolution student, I studied the Rwandan genocide and reconstruction, and was very familiar with Mr. Dallaire’s outreach efforts in promoting post-conflict sustainable peacemaking....more
Toni Osborne

L.Gen. the Hon. Roméo Dallaire (Ret’d), was the commander of the UN mission to Rwanda, there he experienced first-hand the horrors committed during the 1994 genocide. In his memoirs “Shakes Hands with the Devil”, he highly criticised and exposed the failures of the international community. Mr. Dallaire is known to be a strong humanitarian, an advocate of human rights and has dedicated his life to the cause for which he has been recognized and has received numerous awards.

In his second book, he r...more
This book has left me utterly confused and baffled.
If there's any stance I was 100% sure of, it's my stance against international intervention. "Stop interfering! Let people solve their own problems." These kinds of statements were my first reaction when encountering books/movies/news reports about African issues written by foreigners (i.e White people).
But after reading this I'm really not sure what I think anymore.

The book has made it obvious that the prevention of child soldiers, that fightin...more
Krys (Black & Write Reviews)
“We [the international community] do not have a choice about whether or not to intervene; we have a fundamental responsibility to humanity to intervene ’in extremis’, even with force.”

After reading “A Long Way Gone” by Ishmael Beah, I became increasingly interested in the topic of the use and abuse of children as soldiers, and reading further into the eradication of this inhumane treatment of innocence. The glory of working in a book store is that anything will and can catch your eye while you’r...more
"They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children: The Global Quest to Eradicate the Use of Child Soldiers","Romeo Dallaire"

"This was a compelling book which explained the recruitment and use of child soldiers in detail, and the horror of not only their victims but the life many child soldiers are forced to live. Physical and psychological abuse and drugs are frequently used to keep them in line, and describes the effects on their former communities. He also tells about the fate of girls abduct...more
Maria Elena
Retired Lieutenant-General Roméo A. Dallaire gives a detailed description of the issues governments and NGOs face as they try to stop the use of child soldiers in conflicts around the world. Thanks to his military background and his first-hand experience with child soldiers during the Rwandan genocide, Lt-General Dallaire is able to give a clear account on how and why children are used in armed conflict. He says candidly that the key to stopping this epidemic of child soldiers is prevention as h...more
I really enjoyed this book. It was well written and engaging; eye-opening doesn't even begin to describe it.

I just found that it was written more like an essay or report rather than a informative history lesson. Dallaire often repeated himself, which for some parts was helpful, other times annoying. Near the end I was feeling more like he was drawing it out and trying to fill the pages.

Within the first couple pages I was hooked, and my heart was already in for the cause; but I felt that Dallair...more
I just recently went to a conference where Sen. Dallaire spoke on this topic. It was wonderful to hear some of the things he also included in the book. I enjoyed the information, detail, and emotional projection of the book. However, I found that there was a lot of redundancy. It seemed to be an effort to really emphasize some points, but they took up too much space and weighed the rest of the book down. I also would have liked it if Sen. Dallaire could have included some citations for some of t...more
I am still struck by Dallaire's positivity and sense of hope after the horrors he witnessed in the Rwandan genocide. This is a book that I think everyone must read.
Dallaire takes the reader on a journey to first explain the world and motives of child soldiers and then lays out a series of actions that we can take to help heal these children and integrate them back into their communities. He also proposes that we focus our energies on clamping down on the individuals, governments and armies who use children as strategic tactics of war. Dallaire's demonstration of strength and moral character during the Rwandan genocide has inspired a generation. He has turn...more
This book is very disturbing and graphic but very necessary to read.
I bought this book after Dallaire gave a lecture at my university, i've always been interested in the child soldiers problem and wanted to know how a person who lived amidst the wars in Africa sees it and explains it! the book gave me a good idea of how life really is for a young kid in the bushes of Africa, i especially loved the fictional story the author came up with to illustrated how a child soldier sees war and lives it VS how a UN soldier does.... totally recommends this book to any one i...more
Kathleen McRae
Romeo Daillaire has been involved in the fight to remove children from the war arena for more than twenty years now and his efforts are moving some pretty big hills bit the mountain has still to be moved.I believe his thoughtful insight into prevention is on the money, namely that we are the ones capable of moving mountains . Neglect and bystanderism allows these things to take place and continue to be practised but our collective voice can make a difference.'Be the change you want to see in the...more
David Smith
Need inspiration? Read this book. Romeo Dallaire is on my list of three living heroes. He says child soldiers can be relegated to history books and I believe him. This is a sort of where do we go from here after reading "Shake Hands With the Devil" - individual action makes a difference. "They Fight Like Soliders, They Die Like Children" is more of a passionate speech from the heart than a book, making it all the more important to read. And yes, it will keep you awake at night.
Melissa Tabak
Read this when I was doing research on disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) programs for child soldiers throughout Africa. Dallaire is very idealistic and it shows throughout this book, but I didn't necessarily think it was a bad thing. I found his writing very compelling and it definitely made me read more about DDR programs and made me feel like perhaps there is something ordinary people can do about the problem of child soldiering
The author made some interesting points and presented child soldiers in a new way, and also had a chapter written toward young readers, advising them how they can help with the situation.
However it was extremely repetitive... it could have been cut in half and delivered the same message, but considering he's a peacekeeper and not an author, I'd say he did a great job at presenting a horrifying reality.
Dave Fleet
A very emotive, interesting and informative read. Sadly though, the last two chapters are a disappointment - especially the last, which loses all the momentum the book builds up due to a long, convoluted call to action. Not as compelling as Dallaire's first book, but fascinating enough in it's topic to inspire me to read more on the subject. Worth a read, though.
I'm not sure how you can read a book like this and not be affected immensely. This is a call to action, and an explicit plea for the mobilization of an entire generation. The generation which has come of age in the 21st century has failed to engage in their (our!) own future. It's not that we aren't being heard, it's that we aren't speaking loudly enough.
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Lieutenant-General The Honourable Roméo A. Dallaire, O.C., C.M.M., G.O.C, M.S.C., C.D., (Retired), Senator, has had a distinguished career in the Canadian military, achieving the rank of Lieutenant-General and becoming Assistant Deputy Minister (Human Resources) in the Department of National Defence in 1998. In 1994, General Dallaire commanded the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAM...more
More about Roméo Dallaire...
Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda Fortune Favours the Brave: Tales of Courage and Tenacity in Canadian Military History Old Enough to Fight: Canada's Boy Soldiers in the First World War The World and Darfur: International Response to Crimes Against Humanity in Western Sudan Mobilizing the Will to Intervene: Leadership to Prevent Mass Atrocities

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“The reason why we believe that change is possible is not because we are idealists but because we believe we have made it, so other people can make it as well.” 6 likes
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