Jun 16, 12
Read in June, 2012
Holy critter. I started this book knowing the Rwandan genocide was basically composed of Hutus killing Tutsis in the mid-1990s, and ended it with a radically transformed mindset toward so many institutions and people and ideas. Chief among them is the UN and the international community as a whole, who are perhaps the most responsible, I think, for ignoring the genocide and facilitating the massacres that followed it.
The book itself was easy to read, surprisingly, since it dealt with some of the most unfathomable human situations to have transpired in recent history. My only problem with Gourevitch is that he never really got to the red-hot human center of the Rwandan genocide: How were so many of the Hutus so completely inhuman? How could they have done what they did? It's true that he explains the history leading up to the genocide, but he never really investigates the thought processes that guided the Hutus in their rampage. Because of that, I felt like he cheated us out of a 100% complete understanding of the conflict.
Overall, however, this book was one of the most illuminating I have ever read.