I just finished reading Roméo Dallaire‘s Shake Hands with the Devil: the Failure of Humanity in Rwanda. It was put out by Random House Canada in 2004 and is an amazing read for anyone interested in the Rwandan conflict and genocide of the 1990s, told from the perspective of the Canadian General who led the UN peacekeeping mission during the genocide. At the back Dallaire makes suggestions for further reading, if anyone finds themselves as interested as I have become.
A Selected Bibliography:
- The Rwanda Crisis: History of a Genocide (Gérard Prunier, 1995)
- A People Betrayed: The Role of the West in Rwanda’s Genocide (Linda Melvern, 2000)
- A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide (Samantha Power, 2002)
- Eyewitness to a Genocide: The United Nations and Rwanda (Michael Barnett, 2002)
- Leave None to Tell the Story: Genocide in Rwanda (Alison Des Forges, 1999)
- We Wish to Inform You that Tomorrow We Will be Killed With Our Families: Stories from Rwanda (Philip Gourevitch, 1998)
- The Shallow Graves of Rwanda (Shaharyar Khan, 2000)
- Rwanda: la descente aux enfers: Témoignage d’un peacekeeper Décembre 1993-Avril 1994 (Luc Marchal, 2001)
I also looked around for filmic representations/treatments of what happened in Rwanda in 1994, and found a few. Both documentary and feature film, it’s important to recognize the abilities and limitations of each. Check out their reviews at imdb.com if you’re curious.
- There is both a documentary and a feature film based on Dallaire’s book and entitled Shake Hands with the Devil. The feature’s trailer is here.
- Of course there is Hotel Rwanda.
- Other feature films include Shooting Dogs (released in US as Beyond the Gates) and HBO’s Sometimes in April.
- Frontline featured Rwanda in Ghosts of Rwanda.
- Gacaca: Living Together Again in Rwanda.
In an attempt to read something as different as possible from the books listed above, I’ve recently begun Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials Trilogy.