Very powerful and disturbing book about the Rwandan genocide. The author spent 3 years traveling in Rwanda after the 1994 genocide. He talked to people involved on both sides and also in the surrounding countries. He tells what happened to lead up to the genocide and also what happened in the following 3 years. It is chilling to know that even though we say "never again" when we talk about the Holocaust, the world stood by and allowed a genocide in Rwanda that was even more thorough. And afterwards the UN helped the perpetrators of the genocide, not victims! This book will greatly enhance your understanding of events in Rwanda in the 1990's. It will also make you question your own responsibility to "humanity".
This was a hard book to read, because the subject matter is so horrifying. But it is important for me to be aware of something that I wasn't aware of at the time. The writing seems very much like a long newspaper article, as opposed to a book.
I read this book after seeing the movie Hotel Rwanda. The book tries to explain what happened in Rwanda in 1994 and before that lead to the genocide. The author has made several trips to Rwanda since the genocide, and talks to survivors and their families.
Absolutely wonderful information. Hard read due to the subject matter. We all live in this world together makes me wonder why things like this happen--such a waste of life. I still have alot to digest from this book. It will take time.
snee reviewed We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will be Killed With Our Families: Stories from Rwanda on
I was amazed at the quality of writing in this book, and so happy I chose it. I picked it up in the evening, after work, and spent all evening (and well into the early morning) reading it. An incredibly detailed, readable book about a situation that was narrowly reported in the press. It fleshes out the history of the region, which makes it much easier to understand the strife within a historical perspective. One of the best books I have read. Highly, highly recommended from others, because this is one book I am keeping in my library.
Philip Gourevitch is a great journalist and writer and his account of the Rwandan genocide provides much depth and context; I did learn a lot about a region of the world I knew little about beforehand. But for every bit made clear there were so many more frustrating mysteries presented; which gets anguishing. In the book's beginning I was able to follow Hutu violence against Tutsis in Rwanda, but then there were introduced RPFs, UNAMIR, Hundes, interahamwe, genocidaires and not only that, but many of these seemed to alternate who they were victimizing throughout the book. Compounding this confusion is a host of differing world aid organizations and political heads and groups who also have a hand in simultaneously supporting and victimizing Rwandans, both Tutsis and Hutus.
I was constantly side-tracked by insignificant minutiae like what's the difference between ethnically cleansing people and murdering them? Is there really that big a difference between a relief mission and a rescue mission in a situation this hellish? Why does somebody named Jean Girumuhatse have a son named Emanuel Habyarimana? (Habyarimana is the name of one of the depraved political leaders but he doesn't seem related to this Girumuhatse family... )
Even the format of this book was confusing to me, it's subtitled "Stories from Rwanda" but is not written as a series of separate stories, nor is it a straightforward chronological account, it kind of meanders back and forth. I wanted so badly to understand the situation but failed, and feel frustrated. And, so much of this book is about everybody failing to understand and feeling frustrated.
This was a good book, and extremely well researched. However, there was so much detail, and so much history that I got kind of overwhelmed. It told a lot of Paul's story, the one that Hotel Rowanda, the movie told. That was the best part of the book. The names were quite confusing and hard to read. All in all a good book if you like that sort of thing.