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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartwrenching Documentary
This book will rip your heart out if you have the compassion for this poor, strife-ridden country (and many others like it). I am still trying to understand the Dark Continent and why all these tragedies happen in such brutal ways (I am an avid reader of the pan-African countries and visited Botswana and Zimbabwe last year). Philip Gourevitch paints a pretty bleak...
Published on July 8 2004 by GooPonch

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Modern Atrocities
Gourevitch's book is a gut-wrenching account of the 1994 genocide on the part of the Hutu government to kill 800,000 Tutsi neighbors, not because of the graphic nature but because of the complacency and ignorance of the rest of the world while this was happening. Gourevitch seems personally affected by the genocide, particularly when western nations 1) not only could...
Published on Oct. 28 2001 by Tanja M. Laden


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartwrenching Documentary, July 8 2004
This review is from: We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families: Stories From Rwanda (Paperback)
This book will rip your heart out if you have the compassion for this poor, strife-ridden country (and many others like it). I am still trying to understand the Dark Continent and why all these tragedies happen in such brutal ways (I am an avid reader of the pan-African countries and visited Botswana and Zimbabwe last year). Philip Gourevitch paints a pretty bleak picture, but I believe what he relays is very accurate for everything else I have learned about this genocide through international reports. I would love to see Steven Spielberg (or someone as talented) do for this book what he did for Schindler's List. This story needs to be told. These brutalities are still going on there, and, in other countries of Africa. Only now, in 2004, are the perpetrators of these horrendous acts now being brought to trial (with only a glimpse in your local newspaper, if at all). I definitely recommend this book, but only if you have a strong stomach. If you are interested in other countries, I strongly recommend "In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz", Michela Wrong (Congo) and "Our Votes, Our Guns", Martin Meredith (Zimbabawe). Primitive man arose from Africa. The industrial nations left the African nations in obscurity while beating them down and teasing them with our so called progressive ways (and exploiting their natural resources at their expense). Has this led to the corruption of the new African leaders? Power? Greed? The atrocities that follow? Why can't the African countries overcome the stigma befallen them? We can only better understand these conundrums if we educate ourselves.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An eye opener - The US press did not provide this view!, July 14 2004
By 
M. C. Ciulla - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Gourevitch does a nice job of changing from past to present throughout the book to weave a story that is much different from what the US press provided. At points he seems to take sides in this social divide, but overall he provides what appears to be a clear and even handed accounting of what is in essence the worst of mankind. The writer's style lends itself to quick reading.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent glimpse of human stories from the genocide, April 2 2007
By 
S. A. Forrest (Cambridge, ON, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families: Stories From Rwanda (Paperback)
Having read this book shortly after Romeo Dallaire's Shake Hands with the Devil, I feel the most natural way to comment on this book is by comparison. Its strength is truly in its human stories, in the first-person accounts of genocide survivors and genocidaires. Dallaire's book gives a more detailed summary of the overall chronology of events of the genocide (at least from Dallaire's perspective). That said, Gourevitch's book includes more details about the historical context before and after the genocide.

It is in reading these last accounts that I very much appreciate very much Gourevitch's effort to be fair. I have seen the Rwandan Genocide represented in the Western press as anything from a completely one-sided slaughter of Tutsi innocents by remorseless Hutu ogres to a double genocide: both are exaggerations, but Gourevitch does not shrink from assigning blame where he feels it is due. His portrayal of Paul Kagame's RPF during the time of the genocide is generally positive, but he is critical of Kagame's later intervention with Museveni in the Congo.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Read Now! It is a must as an American, as a human, June 28 2004
This review is from: We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families: Stories From Rwanda (Paperback)
I just finished this book today 3 days shy of my 22nd birthday. I had to read it for Comparative Politics at the university I attend. I am glad I read it.
I barely remembered the genocide. I was 11 and 12 years old when it occurred and only remember hearing blurbs on the news back then. Now, ten years later, I am abosolutely amazed and frightened that something like this can happen (and is happening. Look at the Sudan.) This book was sad and depressing, but it opened my eyes about how heartless mankind can be. I am appalled at the LACK of help, interevention, ANYTHING that the international community did. I am still trying to grasp why this happened and why the world was tricked into helping the Hutu Power hiding in the refugee camps.
I recomend this book to anyone who can read. Please read it. We, as humans, always say we will never forget. Many of us have. It shouldn't happen again, but it will if people do not understand what can and has happened... over three times in the last 60 years. Read it now.
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5.0 out of 5 stars why does genocide happen?, April 9 2004
By 
Auren Hoffman (San Francisco, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families: Stories From Rwanda (Paperback)
This book is one of the best books I have ever read. Ever.
It is certainly not an uplifting book. In three months, the Hutu power regime in Rwanda killed 800,000 minority Tutsis.
The book tries to answer the question of why genocide happens. what can compel one people, living side by side with another people for centuries, to rise up and mass kill? What drives Hutu, who's wife might be a Tutsi, to kill his wife's brother and mother? What drives mass rapes? What drives a man to hack up his neighbor into bits with a machete?
why does this happen?
Philip Gourevitch writes an amazing and detailed account of Rwanda and of its neighboring countries like Uganda and the Congo (formerly Zaire). Gourevitch has incredible access to the leaders of these countries and his "man on the street" interviews are extremely revealing and mind-expanding.
The book was given to me by a friend who said that I "had to read this book!" And it just sat on my bookshelf for a long time. After about a year, I dusted it off and read it. I am a better person for it.
Summation: Don't wait a year, read this book now.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Stories of a real horror we should all know and remember, March 14 2004
This review is from: We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families: Stories From Rwanda (Paperback)
I have various views of this book. First, it is a very important account of one of the great tragedies of our time. It upsets me that we still only speak of this tragedy without enough specificity. It is too often just a conversation about the million killed in Rwanda without enough focus on who did the killing. It wasn't just a tribe against another. It was people hacking others to death. This book gets us to some of those individuals - both those murdered and those murdering - and that is the chief reason to appreciate the book and thank Mr. Gourevitch for it.
However, I wish there some images in the book beyond the couple of maps. Yes, Mr. Gourevitch is a fine writer and helps us see with words. But this kind of genocide cries out for photographic documentation. Maybe there isn't any that is appropriate for the book. But I feel the lack just the same.
Finally, this is an important document of the Rwandan terror, but it isn't the final story. It isn't the complete story. That has yet to be written. But I found reading this book a strange sort of nightmare. Everything seems real and it has its own frightening impetus, but it is like a dream where you want things to stop but it won't. It is horrifying and even worse because it all happened to real people and in our time.
And notice how everyone runs from accountability. It seems like everyone wants to pretend someone else did it and when you find someone who actually can't run away from involvement they want to pretend it was some awful force that made people unavoidably crazy and should therefore be forgotten. What hogwash.
Thanks to Mr. Gourevitch for getting these stories in print for us. I hope we burn these stories in our memory.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book; evokes emotion, empathy, Nov. 16 2003
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This review is from: We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families: Stories From Rwanda (Paperback)
Any book that can grab your attention and keep it is a marvel. A book that can evoke emotion is even that much better. This book, We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families, does both. The true stories of Rwandans, what they went through, felt, saw, and experienced, are amazing. The tribulation these people went through is something no human being should ever have to go through. I think what the author does in telling these stories and sharing their world with others is of the utmost importance. To shed light on what really happened is taking steps toward never allowing this type of genocide to happen again. It's important that others know what really happened, feel sympathetic toward these people, and make every effort to never let it happen again.
I can only imagine the effort, time, and research the author, Philip Gourevitch, must have put forth for this book. I think he does an excellent job. He covers all the bases, including Rwanda's history, personal experiences, politics, interviews, and descriptive scenes. It's very thorough. He also makes no predictions about Rwanda's future, which I think is appropriate, because Rwanda's future is uncertain. With such an unstable past, he would be a fool to try and predict its future. He also seems to know where he stands in the book. Unlike some authors, who claim to be experts or political activists in their books, he claims to be no such thing. He simple tells the story, sometimes including his own emotions, but to no political agenda.
I think everyone should read this book, or at least parts of it, to get a real sense of the atrocities some people have to go through. We are all too self-inclusive in our lives, only worried about our own little world. This book makes you look outside your world and into the world of a people deeply troubled with real worries and a real sense of appreciating life. If we simply ignore those around us and turn a deaf ear to those people in need of help, does that not make us just as horrible as the Hutus that massacre their neighbors like they were animals? They are not animals, which is one thing I believe Gourevitch tried to show. He told stories of both the Hutus and the Tutsis, showing how they are human beings, not animals and not deserving of the massacre they received.
I cried during several parts of this book and sometimes had a hard time putting it down even though it was so depressing I didn't want to read it anymore. But I'm glad I did, and I feel the better for it. Not only is this book educational, but it's stirring, evoking real emotion and thought. I have to give it 5 stars. Even though it was a tad long, I can see why the author included everything he did, and I don't know what I would have him cut out.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best book on the Rwandan genocide, Sept. 29 2003
By 
Seth J. Frantzman (Jerusalem, Israel) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families: Stories From Rwanda (Paperback)
This book is simply the BEST book on the Rwandan genocide. It begins by exploring Rwanda past and the colonial initiatives that exacerbated a tribal conflict. It shows how years ot Tutsi rule infuriated the Hutu majority and turned them into beasts worse then the SS.
The author explores individual cases of people adn the memories they faced. He takes a sharp cirtique to the U.N and the world community who sat by and watched. He carefully lays out the lies perpetrated by the French and Belgium troops in the country that watched as people were butchered in front of them. The author explored the obivous nature of the genocide as rivers choaked with bodies polluted the lakes of Kenya it was obivous what was happening.
Once again, as was the case of the Jews in Germany, we see a minority people subjected to brutal behavior and not fighting back. it seems the curse of people chosen for genocide that tehy are always the weakest people who chose not to fight to the death. The Tutsi community allowed itself to be herded like cattle and watched as their relatives were butchered.
The author explores the legacy of 'Justice' in rwanda. he shows how many war criminals are now living here in the U.S and the world does nothing. The author shows how the U.N only seemed to become upset when the Tutsi rebel army took back the country and the U.N was suddenly worried about 'retalitaion'. Apparnetly the U.N doesnt mind if you murder a million people but when one of those people decides to take a little vengance then all of a sudden the U.N steps in to stop the criminals from getting a taste of their own medicine.
The author goes on to show how the U.N helped to arm the committers of genocide as they fed them in refuggee camps. THe U.N supported the former war criminals as they fled to congo and continued the campaign of genocide. The U.N did everything except helping the victims, the U.N only helped the prepetrators.
This is a wonderful book where you will learn that the world will never change. The U.N and the 'world community' loves genocide and the more people you murder the more they will support you. If you are a peaceful nation like Tibet the U.N will ignore you and give you no aid. But if you are brutal like Saddam or Pol Pot the U.N will spend years helpign you and feeding you and your people. This is the lesson of the Rwandan genocide. If you want to prevent genocide you shyould arm yourself and fight to the death because no one is going to save you, the TUtsis learned this the hard way, like the Jews and the Armenians.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Useful classroom tool for Instructors, Professors, etc., Sept. 10 2003
By 
D. H. Richards "ninthwavestore" (Silver Spring, MD USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families: Stories From Rwanda (Paperback)
This review is aimed at instructors looking for a good initial book to draw students into the subject of International and/or Comparative Politics.
High school, undergraduate and even graduate instructors will find this book very useful in classes that deal with International Politics, Comparative politics, Modern History, Colonialism, Ethnicity, and other similar topics. I use this as a first reading in my Comparative politics classes. For most students this is the first they have heard of the genocide in Rwanda and it really helps to open up classroom discussion about the role of politics and the state in "real life."
It is a fairly easy read, although obviously the subject matter can make it difficult to get through. Most students High School and above will find its language clear and compelling, which also helps them get into the idea of reading for the course.
Some good talking points that came out of discussion on the book: Is Gourevitch presenting a one-sided argument and is that okay? What role does colonialism play in shaping the present day reality in Africa? Why did the UN not intervene sooner? What is ethnicity exactly if not based on race or language is it still ethnicity? What role does the state have in strong societies?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Immortal Chaplains Prize for Humanity, June 6 2003
By 
A Customer (Overland Park, Kansas USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families: Stories From Rwanda (Paperback)
Philip Gourevitch, author of We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will be Killed With Our Families (1998), writes that the civil war in Rwanda in 1994 produced few heroes. However, in the midst of the horror, Gourevitch points out that Paul Rusesabagina the quick-witted and courageous Hutu hotel manager of the Hotel des Mille Colline, a luxury hotel in central Kigali owned by Sabena airlines, managed to save more than a thousand people. Many people who were slated for death wound up at this hotel. They were fortunate enough to find refuge in what was one of the only safe places in Rwanda. Two medical doctors Odette Nyiramilimo, her husband Dr Jean Baptiste Gasasira and their children ended up at this hotel. Many Tutsis were kept safe there.
Gourevitch describes how Rusesabagina spent his days buying lives of Tutsis with liquor, reasoning, persuading, so that each band of killers who came to the hotel to take out various Tutsis on their lists for killing somehow ended up going away. Rusesabagina would then stay up until four in the morning using the one phone line, which the Hutu power authorities had not managed to cut off, as they did not know its number. He would send faxes to Bill Clinton, ring the French Foreign Ministry, ring the King of Belgium, and tell them what was going on.
Gourevitch says that although Rusesabagina may not have seen what he did as heroic, he still saved many lives. Something that almost everyone else was unable or unwilling to do. None of the people who took shelter at the hotel were killed during the genocide and none were killed at a small number of other sites under foreign protection, like the hospital in Kigali run by Doctors Without Borders and the International Committee of the Red Cross. Perhaps these sanctuaries could not have been replicated so successfully elsewhere. But certainly it would have been right to try. In 2000, Rusesabagina was the recipient of the Immortal Chaplains Prize for Humanity and was running a transport company in Brussels Belgium, and is still exceptionally modest about what he did.
Best Regards, David S. Fick,
Author of Entrepreneurship in Africa: A Study of Successes (March 2002)
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