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Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of…
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Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda (2003)

by Roméo Dallaire

Other authors: Brent Beardsley, Samantha Power (Foreword)

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English (25)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (26)
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
Dallaire was a Canadian peacekeeper sent by the UN as commander of the peacekeeping effort in Rwanda a few months before the genocide in 1994. It was very interesting (and extremely frustrating at times) to read about what happened from this perspective. It was the perspective of the people on the ground who were trying with what (very) little resources they had (not nearly enough) to find peace in the country before the genocide and civil war broke out. ( )
  LibraryCin | Sep 9, 2018 |
"Serving in Rwanda in 1993 as a UN Force Commander, Lieutenant General Romeo
Dallaire and his small UN peacekeeping force found themselves abandoned by the
world's major powers in a vortex of civil war and genocide. With meagre
resources to stem the killing, General Dallaire was witness to the murder of
800,000 Rwandans in a hundred days, and returned home broken, disillusioned and
suicidal. This book is his return to Rwanda: a searing book that is both an
eyewitness account of the failure of humanity to stoop the genocide, and the
story of General Dallaire's own struggle to find a measure of peace,
reconciliation and hope." --back cover
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  collectionmcc | Mar 6, 2018 |
I found this book very hard to read, not due to the gruesomeness of the events that occurred, but because this book is a very detailed account of Dallaire's mission to Rwanda, which began 9 months or so before the genocide begins. As such, there is a lot of things I found really boring...and frustrating. Frustrating for the most part because of the bureaucratic nonsense that Dallaire was up against every single day of the mission. This is worst than anything Kafka could have come up with.
The intro and first few chapters were really great. The next 2-300 pages I found difficult to get through, since nothing but bureaucratic headaches and dealing with idiots were occuring. The last 1-200 pages were really great, and the last chapter was fantastic. If not for the importance of this book, I would have given it 3/5 stars. ( )
  weberam2 | Nov 24, 2017 |
This book has taken me a while to finish because of its complexity and its subject matter which is the 1994 civil war in Rwanda where 800,000 citizens were killed in a few months. The author, Canadian General, Romeo Dallaire, was the head of the UN peace keeping force who tried to maintain the peace between the minority Tutsis and the majority Hutus. The Tutsis, displaced for years in Uganda were trying to regain their territory while the Hutus, with the support of the French, were attempting to remain in charge. The Arusha Accord was a complex peace agreement meant to alleviate the refugee problem and define the governance model through free elections. The Rwandese Patriotic Front (RFP) was the Tutsi dominated, disciplined military movement raised in Uganda led by Paul Kagame. It eventually became the government after the civil war. The Rwandese Government Forces (RGF) less disciplined contained factions that were murderous, drunken hotheads who were clearly responsible for much of the genocide.
Dallaire was caught in the middle of this political, military, humanitarian crisis which unfolded in the spring of 1994. Although he was strongly supported by Canadian, African and some European peacekeepers, his
real fight was with the intransigent bureaucrats at the UN in Manhattan.
After his return to Canada in 1994, Dallaire was haunted by memories and images of the barbarity he had witnessed and suffered from PTSD and suicidal thoughts. He makes some very important comments in the final chapter about the role of peacekeeping today and what the lack of human rights and choices does to the next generation caught up in the repression, poverty and brutality of tyrants. ( )
  MaggieFlo | Nov 19, 2017 |
This is a hard book to read but an important one, because Gen. Dallaire opens his heart and shows us the failure of the United Nations in Rwanda. There are tales of heroism and happy outcomes, but much of the book documents the impact lack of concern among the major powers had on the people of Rwanda. He also calls out those countries which did send troops but tied the hands of the commanders. ( )
  nmele | Sep 7, 2017 |
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Roméo Dallaireprimary authorall editionscalculated
Beardsley, Brentsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Power, SamanthaForewordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
To my family and the families of all those who served with me in Rwanda, with deepest gratitude
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It was an absolutely magnificent day in May 1994.
Quotations
May this book help inspire people around the globe to rise above national interest and self-interest to recognize humanity for what it really is: a panoply of human beings who, in their essence, are the same.
The police were protecting the soldiers who were there to protect law and order!
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0786715103, Paperback)

For the first time in the United States comes the tragic and profoundly important story of the legendary Canadian general who "watched as the devil took control of paradise on earth and fed on the blood of the people we were supposed to protect." When Roméo Dallaire was called on to serve as force commander of the UN Assistance Mission for Rwanda, he believed that his assignment was to help two warring parties achieve the peace they both wanted. Instead, he was exposed to the most barbarous and chaotic display of civil war and genocide in the past decade, observing in just one hundred days the killings of more than eight hundred thousand Rwandans. With only a few troops, his own ingenuity and courage to direct his efforts, Dallaire rescued thousands, but his call for more support from the world body fell on deaf ears. In Shake Hands with the Devil, General Dallaire recreates the awful history the world community chose to ignore. He also chronicles his own progression from confident Cold Warrior to devastated UN commander, and finally to retired general struggling painfully, and publicly, to overcome posttraumatic stress disorder—the highest-ranking officer ever to share such experiences with readers.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:12 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

The tragic and profoundly important story of the legendary Canadian general who "watched as the devil took control of paradise on earth and fed on the blood of the people we were supposed to protect." Called on to serve as commander of the UN Assistance Mission for Rwanda, he believed that he was to help two warring parties achieve peace. Instead, he was exposed to the most barbarous and chaotic display of civil war and genocide in the past decade, observing in just one hundred days the killings of more than eight hundred thousand Rwandans. With only a few troops and his own ingenuity and courage, Dallaire rescued thousands, but his call for more support fell on deaf ears. Here he recreates the awful history the world community chose to ignore, and chronicles his own progression from confident Cold Warrior to devastated UN commander, and finally to retired general struggling to overcome posttraumatic stress disorder.--From publisher description.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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