I came to this book after watching the miniseries which was breathtaking. I don't remember ever being so completely on the edge of my seat as I was wh...moreI came to this book after watching the miniseries which was breathtaking. I don't remember ever being so completely on the edge of my seat as I was when watching the first half or so. The book was good. I've read him before (Undaunted Courage) and find that he makes history very accessible. I'm not a huge war movie/book fan, but I am interested people behaving well in extraordinarily difficult circumstances. (less)
"In a tiny, landlocked African country smaller than the state of Maryland, some 800,000 people were hacked to death, one by one, by their neighbors. The women, men, and children who were slaughtered were of the same race and shared the same language, customs, and confession (Roman Catholic) as those who eagerly slaughtered them." (p.vii)
"When there has been one genocide there can be another, at any time in the future, anywhere -- if the cause is still there and no one knows what it is" (Jeannette, a survivor)
"to make the effort to understand what happened in Rwanda is a painful task that we have no right to shirk -- it is part of being a moral adult" (Susan Sontag, p. viii)
then, read the book but you will still not understand, just that
"A genocide is a poisonous bush that grows not from two or three roots but from a tangle of roots that has moldered underground where no one notices it." (Claudine, a survivor)
and all that you do know for sure is (in the words of one survivor):
"Before, I knew that a man could kill another man, because it happens all the time. Now I know that even the person with whom you've shared food, or with whom you've slept, even he can kill you with no trouble. The closest neighbor can turn out to be the most horrible. An evil person can kill you with his teeth: that is what I have learned since the genocide, and my eyes no longer gaze the same on the face of the world."
The book is well-written, and I know more details that I did before, but I was horrified and appalled.