This book is one of the best books I have ever read. Ever.
It is certainly not an uplifting book. In three months, the Hutu power regime in Rwanda killed 800,000 minority Tutsis.
The book tries to answer the question of why genocide happens. what can compel one people, living side by side with another people for centuries, to rise up and mass kill? What drives Hutu, who’s wife might be a Tutsi, to kill his wife’s brother and mother? What drives mass rapes? What drives a man to hack up his neighbor into bits with a machete?
why does this happen?
Philip Gourevitch writes an amazing and detailed account of Rwanda and of its neighboring countries like Uganda and the Congo (formerly Zaire). Gourevitch has incredible access to the leaders of these countries and his “man on the street” interviews are extremely revealing and mind-expanding.
The book was given to me by my friend Price Roe who said that I “had to read this book!” And it just sat on my bookshelf for a long time. After about a year, I dusted it off and read it. I am a better person for it.
Summation: Don’t wait a year, read this book now.