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.
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).
An extraordinary tale of heroism and sacrifice, told in steady, unrelenting and often self-deprecating fashion. It's clear that Rusesabagina will never forget the atrocities he witnessed, nor completely forgive the West for its inaction. But rather than engage in bitterness, he uses the book's final section to fervently insist that the world never again ignore genocide in any nation or on any continent.
The Guardian (UK)
With the aid of a New York journalist, Tom Zoellner, he recounts the ordeal with a narrative tension worthy of a superior thriller, and the passages on the build-up to the genocide are particularly compelling. The call to arms was co-ordinated by a new radio station, which moved seamlessly from playing Congolese pop to issuing chilling instructions to its listeners to 'do your work ... cut the tall trees' (the Tutsis being traditionally taller than Hutus). And from here, it is quite as harrowing as you'd expect.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by larissa awsome This book was so good. but it was also sad. I can't understand why people killed others just because a Beljin guy said "your lighter and taller so you're a Tutsi and your darker and shorter so your a Hutu" and they actually turned against each... Read More
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
been the first to settle Rwanda,
followed by the Hutu in about
1000 AD. The Tutsis migrated
into the area around the 15th
century and gained dominance
over the Hutus. However, over
the centuries there has been
Humanitarian workers define courage in the 21st century. This book gives voice to their stories, to their ability to survive
in the face of death, to their humanity to one another and to those they seek
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