Summary and book reviews of Not on Our Watch by Don Cheadle

Not on Our Watch

The Mission to End Genocide in Darfur and Beyond

by Don Cheadle, John Prendergast

Not on Our Watch
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  • Paperback:
    May 2007, 192 pages

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Book Summary

An Academy Award-nominated actor and a renowned human rights activist team up to change the tragic course of history in the Sudan -- with readers' help.

While Don Cheadle was filming Hotel Rwanda, a new crisis had already erupted in Darfur, in nearby Sudan. In September 2004, then-Secretary of State Colin Powell termed the atrocities being committed there "genocide" -- and yet two years later things have only gotten worse. 3.5 million Sudanese are going hungry, 2.5 million have been displaced by violence, and 400,000 have died in Darfur to date.

Both shocked and energized by this ongoing tragedy, Cheadle teamed up with leading activist John Prendergast to focus the world's attention. Not on Our Watch, their empowering book, offers six strategies readers themselves can implement: Raise Awareness, Raise Funds, Write a Letter, Call for Divestment, Start an Organization, and Lobby the Government. Each of these small actions can make a huge difference in the fate of a nation, and a people -- not only in Darfur, but in other crisis zones such as Somalia, Congo, and northern Uganda.

1

Challenges and Choices

It was sometime round midnight in a little village in southern Sudan, and the only link to the rest of the world within a five-hundred-mile radius was one satellite phone, so when it rang it was a bit of a shock to everyone.

Don dispensed with the formalities. “My man, you are not easy to find.”

“Obviously, hiding from you is not as easy as I thought,” John countered.

Despite his attempt at a cool demeanor, John was excited. After Marlon Brando and Mickey Rourke (John is well aware that he has issues), Don was his favorite actor, and the fact that the two of them were about to go on a trip together to Chad and across the border into the western Sudanese region of Darfur was firing him up.

However, Don wasn’t making a social call. He was concerned that the mission that we were going on with a bunch of members of Congress was only going to spend several hours in the refugee camps in Chad, and he wanted to stay longer. “...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Not On Our Watch's combination of practical information and instructions blended with memoir, history and tales of success from past activism should provide inspiration whether the reader is taking his or her first baby steps towards getting involved in any form of activism (or simply picked up the book because it's cowritten by a movie star), or is already convinced that the pen truly can be mightier than the sword and is looking for specifics on this particular conflict.   (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).

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Media Reviews

Publishers Weekley

The book is a pastiche of practical information, instructions, memoir and history. As a handbook for budding activists, it's informative and, at times, inspiring.

Booklist - Vanessa Bush

After a brief history of the tensions behind the genocide, Cheadle and Prendergast detail how they each got involved in the campaign to end genocide in Darfur.

Kirkus Reviews

A persuasive and authoritative call for action with an engaging personal touch.

Author Blurb George Clooney
Don and John are two of the great champions of ending this genocide. With this book they remind us that the individual can change the world for the better. And they also remind us that we all bear responsibility in this crime against humanity. I'm proud to call them my friends.

Reader Reviews

Jolly

My Thoughts on "Not on Our Watch"
This book was an excellent book. It really opened up my eyes to what has been occurring in Africa for over two hundred years. I was very clueless to all the pain, hardship, and struggle that still remain in Africa. It’s insane to know that people my ...   Read More

Samantha Fox

Do Not Sleep
Excellent book! It has encouraged me to make my community be aware of what is going on.

Marnita Kidd-Love

Exilerating!
I met John 20 years ago, an utterably nice person through in through.. I knew he was bound for a life made up of great things.. Keep up the wonderful work, you're what this world needs..... I never had the opportunity to say thanks, for being...   Read More

Triniti Thomas

This is a great read! As an African-American with a voice, I commit to a vital role in efforts of ending the genocide in Darfur and beyond. Given the current situation in Darfur, I hope that you too will seriously consider responsibility,education, ...   Read More

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Beyond the Book

About the authors: Don Cheadle has appeared in a number of movies including Rosewood, The Family Man, Boogie Nights, Out of Sight, Traffic, and Ocean's Eleven. In 2005 he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Paul Rusesabagina in Hotel Rwanda. John Prendergast is Senior Advisor to the International Crisis Group and Co-Founder of the ENOUGH Campaign. Previously he worked at the White House and State Department during the Clinton administration, where he was involved in a number of peace processes throughout Africa.


Also recently published: The Devil Came in On Horseback (website): A memoir by former U.S. Marine Brian Steidle who began work in Sudan in 2004 as a military contractor and ...

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