Eileen Souza's Reviews > An Ordinary Man: An Autobiography

An Ordinary Man by Paul Rusesabagina
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's review
Nov 21, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: africa, genocide
Read from January 18 to March 10, 2012

This is the autobiography of Paul Rusesabagina, who's story inspired the film Hotel Rwanda.

It is a fairly short book (204 pgs) and similar enough to the movie version, that you have a good idea what is coming. His story does not delve deeply into the history of Rwanda, does not get bogged down by the details of who was who where and why, but he is able to convey a very complex past with simple prose, that nevertheless allows you to get a glimpse into the perspectives of people.

Though certainly not as detailed as "We regret to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families" by Philip Gourevitch, this book shows you the personal story of one man who tried to do what he could in the middle of insanity. He is unflinching in his willingness to share who he bargained with, who he was willing to talk to, what he was willing to do to save the 1,268 refugees in his hotel. He is also willing to say that these people who he bargained with - several of whom were tried and convicted for war crimes - did good things as well as bad.

A surprisingly quick read for the subject matter, and something I would recommend to people who would like to prevent history from becoming our future.
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04/11 marked as: read

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