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fdoamerica "fdoamerica" (Norcross, GA)

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Me Against My Brother: At War in Somalia, Sudan and Rwanda
Me Against My Brother: At War in Somalia, Sudan and Rwanda
by Scott Peterson
Edition: Hardcover
26 used & new from CDN$ 1.75

5.0 out of 5 stars This book is not just about Rwanda, it is about extremes., June 29 2002
My humanitarian medical trip this year to Rwanda mandated that I attempt to understand the insanity of the genocide that killed, in 100 days, over one million children, women and men only eight years ago.
My first read was the excellent, and highly recommended book: 'We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families' by Philip Gourvitch (1998). My second read was this book, also stellar.
This book is not just about Rwanda, it is about extremes; it is about Africa. This is about unbelievable agony, suffering and human catastrophe. 'This is not a pretty' book. Scott Peterson has done a outstanding job in duct-taping a handle on a tragedy that is uncircumscribible. The degree of evil to be encountered in this book is extraordinary. This is a book about degenerate crimes against humanity and how people come to commit such atrocities.
Peterson divides the book into three parts: Somalia, Sudan and Rwanda; with Somalia get the lion's share. Sudan comes next and finally, Rwanda (about 70 pages of the 320 paged book).
Peterson seeks "to illuminate human tragedy in a way that show how such tragedies may be easier to avoided in Africa, and beyond, in the future." Whether he accomplisha this is your judgement call. As a cynic, I believe that what has been, will be again, and 'history will repeat itself' sooner that we think or want.
He breaks down Rwanda's genocide into three primary axioms: 1) Hutu's hatred and fear of the Tutsi's, 2) Catholic Church's' silent support and active disengagement, and finally, 3) the French government's active support before and during the genocide.
However clean and persuasive these arguments are they fail to explain the social insanity and the demonic deprivation that took possession of the Hutu population and drove them into a such an unholy orgy of defilement and slaughter. I cannot fault Peterson for failing short of a succinct, logical, sane explanation of such insanity. No one has, nor do I believe ever will, sufficiently explain the "Why" something this insane happens.
Notwithstanding, this is a solid, informative work worthy of any library concerned with such matters. Highly recommended..

Rwanda: The Bradt Travel Guide
Rwanda: The Bradt Travel Guide
by Janice Booth
Edition: Paperback
9 used & new from CDN$ 0.02

5.0 out of 5 stars For all going to Rwanda this guide is a must have!, May 27 2002
To travel to Africa without a guide, paper or flesh, is a bit looney. But, this month, I found myself in Rwanda in said (and sad) condition. For the first few days I managed to blunder along, until I found and bought this great guide at a hotel side store (of course at a significant mark up).
For the next two weeks Briggs and Booth did a superb job of guiding me along the dirt roads and winding byways (This is the "Land of a thousand hills"). They always explained clearly the world where I wandered. They consistently helped me uncover destination gems that I would have surely overlooked.
Most impressive were their cultural, economic and ecological commentaries. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to traveling with the Office of Tourism across this country while I was working on a medical project for the President's office. I can say that the insights and comments of Briggs and Booth regarding Rwanda are extremely competent and on the mark. Their insight alone makes this book a needed purchase for those that will visit or work in Rwanda.
The 1994 genocide is, of course, briefly covered and the history, heath, culture, people, planning and preparing sections are all informative and full of needed information. Also, for an outstanding book on the 1994 genocide do read; 'We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families' by Philip Gourvitch.
I found Janice Booth's caring and engaging story of her friendship over the years with Peter - a Rwandan Tutsi a wonderful and caring addition. This story is found in the preface and concluded in the epilogue.
The only notable shortcomings are the maps. In today's competitive world of travel guides, good maps are essential. The maps are very basic on only fair. That said this guide is a 'must have' for all who journey to this beautiful and bewildering destination. Highly Recommended. 4.5 stars.

The Key to My Neighbor's House: Seeking Justice in Bosnia and Rwanda
The Key to My Neighbor's House: Seeking Justice in Bosnia and Rwanda
by Elizabeth Neuffer
Edition: Hardcover
22 used & new from CDN$ 5.44

5.0 out of 5 stars Needed justice and the hope and healing it can bring., May 23 2002
Hope - this book is about needed justice and the hope and healing it can bring.
My journey to Rwanda this year prompted me to delve into the tyrannical torture and terror that swept this small, poor nation in 1994.
In 1994, over a period 100 days, over one million people were butchered. It is such a staggering number that it is hard to comprehend. Just to write the first names of the murdered down would take you 2  years, writing six names a minute for eight hours a day.
Although Elizabeth Neuffer's book is about the pursuit of justice and the delivery of justice, it is also about the grim and gruesome reality of killers, rapists and victims. Her clear, straight forward journalistic writing style is engaging. Of the books I have read on Rwanda's genocide (I highly recommend both Scott Peterson's 'Me Against My Brother' and Philip Gourvitch's 'We wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families') Neuffer is the only one that covers rape. She has dedicated chapters to the rape, and it need to be judged as a war crime. She exposes the effect that has on the victims. Her sensitivity and willing to disclose this little discussed topic is needed, refreshing and laudable. Kudos.
Rwanda now has 130,000 incarcerated, waiting for their genocide trials to begin. But, justice is extremely slow in coming. One case alone took 1.5 years. In three years Rwanda's courts have handed down 2,500 vertics. At that rate it will take the Rwandan courts 150 years to clear the dockets. "Perhaps what you end up with in a post-genocide society is not justice at all" Gerald Gahima, Rwanda's previous deputy minister of justice, stated. "Maybe we should think of another word for it."
In her book Bosnia get the lion share of her writing (400 plus pages) but her short sections dealing with Rwanda is alone worth the price of the purchase. This is an outstanding book, worth of any library and to be read by anyone interested in these topics. Highly Recommended.

We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families: Stories From Rwanda
We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families: Stories From Rwanda
by Philip Gourevitch
Edition: Paperback
103 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars "A single death is a tragedy, a million deaths a statistic, May 23 2002
As Joseph Stalin stated: "A single death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic."
I picked up Gourvitch's book on my way to Rwanda. I was sent on a humanitarian medical mission to help the government upgrade what was left of a ravaged, dilapidated, central hospital's medical system.
This book was my first read during my two week stay in Rwanda/Kigali. Unnerving, I was reading it while I sumptuously dined at the only five star hotel. I just finished my meal when I got to the part where Gourvitch mentions that it was at this hotel that scores of killing and atrocities occurred. Distressing.
Later, the next weekend, after I finished the book, I went to a hotel disco and the dance floor was full of Hutus and Tutsis dancing together. Very bizarre, for my Western mind to grasp, considering that just eight years ago 99.9% of those on the dance floor witnessed violence, 79.6% experienced death in their family and 57.7% watched the gore of killing or maiming with machetes. Not to mention how many were victims themselves or how many were perpetrators.
In this outstanding book, Philip Gourvitch lays it all out, and it is brutal and gruesome. His writing is forceful and forthright. He directly indites the U.S. and Europe, citing their deliberate indifference to the genocide. He writes, "Rwanda had presented the world with the most unambiguous case of genocide since Hitler's war against the Jews, and the world sent blankets, beans and bandages ... hoping that everyone would behave nicely in the future.ï¿ Especially damning is France's complicity with the Hutus.
There are a few areas of shortcomings. The lack of an index and noticeable is Philip Gourvitch remiss to lay any blame at the door step of any of the African nations for their disengagement.
Also, if you selected this book, hoping to have a rational and sane answer for how and why this insanity happened, how 1,000,000 people could be hacked to death by friends, family, teachers, physicians and coworkers in 100 days; you will come away empty handed.
But, this is not a shortcoming of Philip Gourvitch book. For there can never be adequate explanation for such demonic decimation. The genocide of Rwanda, the base brutality, the inhumanity, the cries and pleading prayers of the victims and the vacuum of morality and compassion have made these actions uncircumscribible.
Finally, this book should be read in several sittings. The despairing denseness of the inhumane acts are too heavy to be comprehended without breaks, ie "Hutus young and old rose to the task. Neighbors hacked neighbors to death in their home and colleague hacked colleague to death in their work place. Doctors killed their patients, and school teachers killed their pupils.ï¿. Highly Recommended.

Pagan Babies
Pagan Babies
by Elmore Leonard
Edition: Hardcover
42 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars Father Dunn wasn't quite believable, May 6 2002
This review is from: Pagan Babies (Hardcover)
One of the world's worst genocides in our lifetime happened in Rwanda in 1994. The Hutu massacred, by machete, 800,000 Tutsis.
In the midst of this incomprehensible slaughter Elmore Leonard places his main character, the whisky drinking..., swearing, womanizing, man killer, pseudo-priest - Father Terry Dunn.
After a few chapters Elmore Leonard flies Father Dunn out of Rwanda and back to Detroit, where Dunn beats a smuggling indictment, fraternizes with the maffia and has a fling with Ms. Debbie Dewey, a wannabe lawyer, stand-up comic, who just got out of jail for running over her former husband with a 'Buick Riviera'.
While in Detroit, the good Father is running a scam using the photos of the destitute orphaned Rwandan children in his sales pitch.
Elmore Leonard's writing carries you through the book, but the character of Father Dunn never is quite believable. This kept me outside of the story, always looking in.
Leonard writes; "What bothered Debbie was the fact that he (Father Dunn) had lived for years among people who killed their neighbor because they were told to and the victims had accepted being killed". Father Dunn wasn't quite believable, even to the fictional character of Debbie.
That said, this is an engaging, quick read, though the ending is predictable and lacks panache. Recommended.

Pagan Babies
Pagan Babies
by Elmore Leonard
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 9.89
46 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars Father Dunn never is quite believable., May 6 2002
One of the world's worst genocides in our lifetime happened in Rwanda in 1994. The Hutu massacred, by machete, 800,000 Tutsis.
In the midst of this incomprehensible slaughter Elmore Leonard places his main character, the whisky drinking, weed smoking, swearing, womanizing, man killer, pseudo-priest - Father Terry Dunn.
After a few chapters Elmore Leonard flies Father Dunn out of Rwanda and back to Detroit, where Dunn beats a smuggling indictment, fraternizes with the maffia and has a fling with Ms. Debbie Dewey, a wannabe lawyer, stand-up comic, who just got out of jail for running over her former husband with a 'Buick Riviera'.
While in Detroit, the good Father is running a scam using the photos of the destitute orphaned Rwandan children in his sales pitch.
Elmore Leonard's writing carries you through the book, but the character of Father Dunn never is quite believable. This kept me outside of the story, always looking in.
Leonard writes; "What bothered Debbie was the fact that he (Father Dunn) had lived for years among people who killed their neighbor because they were told to and the victims had accepted being killed". Father Dunn wasn't quite believable, even to the fictional character of Debbie.
That said, this is an engaging, quick read, though the ending is predictable and lacks panache. Recommended.

The Colombian Civil War
The Colombian Civil War
by Bert Ruiz
Edition: Paperback
18 used & new from CDN$ 17.37

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ruiz is an engaging writer giving us a primer on Colombia., May 5 2002
During the four months I was in Colombia I sought daily to understand the malaise and mayhem that have gripped this once promising South American nation. I would read of the killings, the kidnapping and the destruction caused by the FARC, the ELN, Death Squads, Police and Military and sadly shake my head in
dismay.
I personally saw how the rich and powerful remained unscathed. I watched the television news portray President Pastrana as impotent against the forces that the people of Colombia feared. I read in local papers how the military and death squad's killing sprees of unarmed civilians continued. And I walked among the masses of the poor and oppressed, talked with widows and orphans, and knew that they were, as always, the greatest losers in this unwinnable war.
It was during my last few weeks in Colombia that I picked up Bert Ruiz's "The Colombian Civil War." This book has allowed me to better understand how such maledictions could befall a once promising nation.
Bert Ruiz has written a needed primer for those desiring to understand Colombia's raging war. His extensive research has untangled, as best as humanly possible, Colombia's convoluted problems.
Several of his chapters stand out as stellar. Especially noteworthy are his chapters, "The War on Drugs" and the
following chapter "Death Squads." His writing is forthwith, very informative, well researched (with prolific end notes).
Ruiz lays down the historical foundation that is needed to understand how this democratic nation got into such a
mess. There is finger pointing galore and no one goes without criticism.
On the short shifted side, only a few pages talk about America's (or Europe's) massive need for illicit, illegal drugs which fosters the Colombian cartels, the cocaine labs, the death squads, etc. I was yearning to read more regarding the effect that the USA's drug addiction (America's 4.1 million heroin & cocaine addicts) has on sustaining Colombia's malaise.
I was distracted when Ruiz flipped back in Colombia's history after taking me through to the year 2000. When I finished Chapter eight, I was engrossed in Colombia's current conflict, ready to grapple with the immediate, when, "wack," Ruiz starts his next chapter, "Northern Brothers," in 1739. Go figure.
The same discontinuity happened with the needed story of Pablo Escobar. Ruiz did captured my attention about this powerful Medellin Narco boss, but left me hanging. Escobar escaped jail and does not show up until the next chapter, 25 pages later, where he meets his death. Choppy.
That said, this is a very good book, dealing with a very convoluted situation. Echoing the words of John Crabtree, a visiting fellow of Latin American Studies at London university, "Colombia's crisis is amazingly complicated and entrenched . . . and (Colombia) HAS NO OBVIOUS SOLUTION." Ruiz is an engaging writer. In "The Colombian Civil War," he has given us a primer to help us understand Colombia today. This book should be a required read for students of Colombia/South America, and/or for those interested in the drug trade/problem gripping the world today. Recommended

Footprint Colombia Handbook
Footprint Colombia Handbook
by Peter Pollard
Edition: Paperback
17 used & new from CDN$ 3.29

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Though slightly dated this is very good, comprehensive guide, April 30 2002
I was in Colombia for three months and used this guide continually.
Peter Pollock writes for a broad audience, but he excels in providing insightful caveats for the adventuresome and ecologically focused traveler. He has information on shipping motorcycles and automobiles to Columbia. He has an excellent section on health, and his 'Background' section is succinct and informative (History, Culture Etc.). He covers the normal tourist destinations and encourages exploration of places that 99% of visitors to Colombia would miss (Tayrona National Park, Ciudad Perdia, etc.).
His accommodations and dining recommendations are adequate, generally accurate, reliable but are becoming outdated. Luckily, although this guide has been out for three years, the prices for lodging in Colombia have stayed relatively stable and accurate and eight out of the ten hotels I selected to visit in Bogota were still open.
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: A serious omission for this 2000 guide is the absence of hotel web pages and hotel email addresses. Electronic addresses have become a "must have" for any competitive guide book. A good hotel web page allows you to view the property, get current rates (and specials), view the
property and rooms and make an on-line reservations. This is a must for the next edition.
Good maps are essential in a guide. Bogota, Cartagena, Barranquilla, Cali and Medellin are sprawling cities that desperately need good maps. Bogota has four maps, but they are upside down! Normally maps are oriented with North at the top of the page, not so here, North is at the bottom and South at the top. I had a hell-of-a-time orienting myself, until I got my compass out and discovered this wacko lay out.
Also confusing are references to map numbers that don't exist. Pollard mentions a number, IE in the Bogota section, 'Hacienda Santa Barbra #3 on the map', but the publisher did not print the numbers on the map. His recommended sleeping locations are noted on the maps, but not restaurants. Needless to say, this is an important area that needs significant improvement.
The above shortcomings notwithstanding, you will not want to go to Colombia without this guide. I strongly Recommend it.

Multnomah Publishers The Prayer Of Jabez: Breaking Through To The Blessed Life
Multnomah Publishers The Prayer Of Jabez: Breaking Through To The Blessed Life
by Bruce Wilkinson
Edition: Hardcover
312 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1.0 out of 5 stars A Prayer Mantra for the Materialistic Minded., April 14 2002
Yea, for God the Giver! Sign me up! I want more and more and more. Give me, give me, give me.
I've got the key now! Bruce Wilkinson preaches that God's existence, God's very reason for being, is to bless you - "a lot".
In this book, Wilkinson asks the reader the rhetorical question, "Is it possible that God wants you to be ï¿selfish' in your prayers?" (YES!), "To Ask for more - and more again?" (YES! YES!). So what is stopping God from giving, giving, giving? Well, it must be me! I am not asking, begging, pleading, cajoling the right way. Wilkinson sets me straight when he writes, "God's bounty is limited only by us, not by His resources, power or willingness to give." Oh, Bruce tell me, tell me what I must do.
In "The Prayer of Jabez", I get the mantra, the right words to unlock God's blessings for ME! All I have to do is "Pray Jabez's prayer word for word", everyday. That is what Bruce did for thirty years, and look at him now, author of a run away best seller!
I have been redeemed! Bruce has set me straight. All this time I had God figured wrong. My theology was [messed]-up. Even my worship was wrong. Now, thanks to Bruce, I know that "seeking God's blessing is my (our) ultimate act of worship." Wasted years, I could have been rich! According to Bruce I should be praying for God to "increase the value of my investment portfolios." Drat!
But here's and idea. Christians, how ï¿bout skipping forward through the Bible to prayers of Jesus! We know that Jesus prayed before decisive moments, beginning with his baptism and as he faced his passion and death. He prayed in times of human weakness and death, as he did at the grave of Lazarus. He frequently prayed to give thanks. But, NO WHERE do we find Jesus praying "bless ME!".
Come on Christians, get your heads out of your pocket books. Move out of the prayer of Jabez and into the prayers of the one you call Lord and Savior. Hey, here's another idea, try saying one of Jesus' prayers each day for 30 years. Maybe, "nevertheless, not my will but thine be done". Not Recommended,

The Hammer of Eden: A Novel
The Hammer of Eden: A Novel
by Ken Follett
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 9.49
81 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars An engrossing read and highly recommended., March 25 2002
Take a group of communal hippies, held together by a slightly likeable, but desperate, determined and deranged leader, called Priest, then add one smart, relentless female FBI agent. Add a slice of an environmentally insensitive California governor, sprinkle lightly with multiple-partner sex, add good California pot, a vicious back-stabbing at the local FBI office, then throw in a killing or two; shake well with earthquake force, then you will have a gripping Ken Follett novel.
Follett is a master of creating conflicts within conflicts, a crisis within a crisis. In "Hammer of Eden" he draws you into the contrasting worlds of a free-love hippy commune and the regimented FBI. Follett enlightens you with some interesting and informative insights on how the FBI uses linguistic analysis to profile suspects.
However, I did have difficultly accepting Follett's portrait of the FBI. After the gross intelligence failure of September 11th I believe it will be a long time before any author will, as Follett did, portray the FBI as being a technologically omniscient, an agency that is able to out think the common terrorist. That said, this is a engrossing read and highly recommended

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