As his country was being torn apart by violence during the
Rwandan genocide of 1994, hotel manager Paul Rusesabaginathe
"Oskar Schindler of Africa"refused to bow to the madness
that surrounded him. Confronting killers with a combination
of diplomacy, flattery, and deception, he offered shelter to
more than twelve thousand members of the Tutsi clan and Hutu
moderates, while homicidal mobs raged outside with machetes.
An Ordinary Man explores what the Academy Award-nominated film Hotel Rwanda could not: the inner life of the man who became one of the most prominent public faces of that terrible conflict. Rusesabagina tells for the first time the full story of his lifegrowing up as the son of a rural farmer, the child of a mixed marriage, his extraordinary career path which led him to become the first Rwandan manager of the Belgian-owned Hotel Milles Collinesall of which contributed to his heroic actions in the face of such horror. He will also bring the reader inside the hotel for those one hundred terrible days depicted in the film, relating the anguish of those who watched as their loved ones were hacked to pieces and the betrayal that he felt as a result of the UNs refusal to help at this time of crisis.
Including never-before-reported details of the Rwandan genocide, An Ordinary Man is sure to become a classic of tolerance literature, joining such books as Thomas Keneallys Schindlers List, Nelson Mandelas Long Walk to Freedom, and Elie Wiesels Night. Paul Rusesabaginas autobiography is the story of one man who did not let fear get the better of hima man who found within himself.
My name is Paul Rusesabagina. I am a hotel manager. In April
1994, when a wave of mass murder broke out in my country, I was able to hide
1,268 people inside the hotel where I worked.
When the militia and the Army came with orders to kill my guests, I took them into my office, treated them like friends, offered them beer and cognac, and then persuaded them to neglect their task that day. And when they came back, I poured more drinks and kept telling them they should leave in peace once again. It went on like this for seventy-six days. I was not particularly eloquent in these conversations. They were no different from the words I would have used in saner times to order a shipment of pillowcases, for example, or tell the shuttle van driver to pick up a guest at the airport. I still dont understand why those men in the militias didnt just put a bullet in my head and execute every last person in the rooms upstairs but they didnt. ...
Rusesabagina relates the full story of his life - growing up as the son of a rural farmer and the child of a mixed marriage (Hutu father, Tutsi mother), and how he became the first Rwandan manager of the Belgian-owned Hotel Milles Collines. He then takes the reader inside his hotel where he protected 1,268 people from almost certain death for three terrible months between April 6 and July 4 1994 during which time more than 800,000 Rwandans were killed.
(Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
Full Review (761 words).
The Republic of Rwanda
is a landlocked country in East
Central Africa bordering on
Congo, Uganda, Tanzania and
Burundi. It is one of the most
densely populated countries in
Africa; about 80% of its 8.5
million people are Hutu, most of
the remainder are Tutsi, with a
few Twa (pygmies). The majority
religion is Christianity (75%),
and French and English are the
joint official languages. The
economy is overwhelmingly
agricultural with most engaged
in subsistence farming.
The Twa are believed to have ...
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