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Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Book 17: We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families, by Philip Gourevitch

I became interested in reading this book after seeing Hotel Rwanda. The sad fact of the matter is that our media and government let these people down, relegating this horrible story of genocide to the back pages of the paper and as unacceptable military intervention. Gourevitch, who was recently named editor of the Paris Review, does a remarkable job of taking the horrible events that occurred during the Hutu destruction of the Tutsis and making them readable and personal. He does so by doing numerous interviews with individuals from both sides. Needless to say, those who were involved in the genocide in any way don't really come off looking good at all; however, it is possible to see the genesis of what occurred by examining the historical implications surrounding the incident. There is some reason for optimism - the new leaders of the countries in the area have a markedly different attitude than that of their predecessors. They're far more independent from Europe and the U.S. than in the past. I actually find it remarkable and depressing that Belgium actually may be heavily responsible for what took place by their encouraging the distinct delineation between the Hutus and Tutsis. It's a powerful read and I strongly recommend it even though it's not always easy to swallow.

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