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Shake Hands With the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda Paperback – 12 Oct 2004
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"Shake Hands With The Devil is one of the saddest books I have ever read and one of the most heart-breaking eye-witness accounts.A kind of naive and painfully honest confession of the failure of an organisation, a meticulous description of one of the worst betrayals in the history of humanity." (Guardian)
"indisputably the best account of the whole terrible Rwandan genocide" (The Sunday Times)
"Although this is a deeply personal book, it is undoubtedly an important historical record of the UN's failure in Rwanda and an impassioned plea against the moral cowardice that allowed the genocide to happen." (The Independent) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
The award-winning war memoir by the general who commanded the UN forces during the Rwandan Genocide --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
Grossly incompetent administration dumped on a committed soldier, who with no back-up was to all intents and purposes - abandoned.
What an indictment of humanity.
Read it and be appalled how we can sit in our cosy homes and, in ignorance maybe, allow such barbarity to go on. What is worse, we let our governments dither and debate the legal niceties of what is meant by “genocide”. We in the so-called civilised West should hang our heads in shame that we allowed this to happen, while each country insisting it was someone’s else responsibility to sort it out. The book is unsentimental yet so very painful. Nearly every page punches you emotionally.
Romeo Dallaire, having put his life on the line in Rwanda, now puts his story to print as a testimony to man’s inhumanity but shows us in that in these extreme circumstances, there are some few individuals who are worthy of our greatest respect and gratitude. These few reclaim some semblance of pride we might hope to see in ourselves.
No book has ever made me cry – this one did.
Reading was tough as Dellaire records the terrible suffering of the Rwandan people during a time when the rest of the world chose not to be interested in a small African country with no strategic or economic value. As a consequence over 800,000 Rwandans died at the hands of various militias in just 100 days.
If Dallaire would have been given the requested resources for his peace keeping mission the genocide could have been prevented. Instead the UN proved to be an ineffective and bureaucratic shambles and the major world powers showed themselves to be shamelessly self interested and ignorant.
How Dallaire continues to cope after witnessing such devastation I don't know but having the conviction to document his experience is great testiment to this remarkable soldier.
Dallaire was on the ground from beginning to end of the slaughter of nearly a million mostly Tutsi, Rwandans, trying to prevent a crisis with too few troops and no political support.
With harrowing detail he describes how the militant Genocidaires gained political power in the tiny, over-populated, remote African state and shows how the world, lead by a dithering UN, stood back and did nothing. Clinton says it's greatest regret. It should be. While leaving out much personal emotion from the proceedings, Dallaire describes the events' full effects in the intro, talking us through his complete emotional breakdown and his lengthy, unfinished recovery.
The reader is left with a gut wrenching feeling upon completion of this book. A book like this should never have to be written again.
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Mr Dallaire you are an honorable man. world needs more humans like you.
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