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Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2014

    The real truth about the incomprehensible failure of the filthy

    The real truth about the incomprehensible failure of the filthy UN under the worthless leadership of Kofi Annan! The world did not fail the Tutsi people  the UN and the rest of the free world did! This book  gives the facts and  lets us see why we need to abolish or recreate this rotten organization! Great book !

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  • Posted January 15, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Very disturbing

    I read this several years ago but was very impressed with it. It's the account by the man in charge of the UN mission in Rwanda during its genocide. It's a very disturbing story of inhumanity and bureaucratic rules/red tape that can allow such atrocities to happen. It's one of the few books I've cried while reading.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2008

    A reviewer

    What this book set out to accomplish is simple: telling the tragic and soul rending story of the Rwandan genocide through the eyes of General Romeo Dallaire, the man in charge of the UN mission for Rwanda back in 1994. Despite repeated warnings to his bosses back in New York 'one of them being Kofi Annan' and sending the now famous ''genocide fax'' he was ignored and had to watch along with his 400 peacekeepers the murder of over a million Tutsis and moderate Hutus. His discription of those 3 months are nothing less but intence, heart breaking, and horrifing. This book has opened my eyes toward the tragedy of Rwanda and the man whom not only was in the middle of it all, but one of the few people who saved countless lives. I urge t everyone to read this book!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2007

    Opening the eyes of the world

    Many people might see this book as informative. It relays the facts of what happened during the conflict in Rwanda. Yes it takes a day after day account of what United Nations Assistance Mission For Rwanda (UNAMIR) contributed in the attempt to solve the genocide. Shake Hands with the Devil tells of the Force Commander, Lt. Gen. Romeo Dallaire¿s perspective, and what he went through while in Rwanda. Instead of the events that unfolded I think this books main purpose was to tell the world of their own blindness or caution when the situation was developing. The devastating outbreak of genocide in Rwanda took over 800,000 lives. It is obvious that the conflict was a horrible and immoral episode. The diplomatic complexity of the situation caused it to only escalate further. Hate radio was the main propaganda to motivate the killings of Tutsis and Hutu moderates. Many militias were out of control and killed them but couldn¿t be stopped. Not only did UNAMIR be asked to pull out of Rwanda because of a few casualties, it happened at the most inopportune time. UNAMIR was reduced to the size of a very small miniscule force all when the genocide began. They didn¿t have the personnel or materials to do anything to diminish the problem of the genocide in Rwanda. No country answered their calls for help and only delayed a reinforcement mission. Shake Hands with the Devil, however on top of telling the world how wrong it was, tries to get the message out that everyone sat and watched. The pleas and permissions UNAMIR had that were thrown out by the world and were unanswered are too many to count. Dallaire gives an understanding of what can happen even under the world¿s super powers watch. After reading Shake Hands with the Devil, genocide could happen again and the same powers could turn their broad shoulders like they did in Rwanda. This book is a great non-fiction account of what genocide is about and what steps should be taken to stop it. I recommend this book to any person who values human rights at any level.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2007

    Understanding hell on earth

    If we can learn from history, this book is a must read. We can learn how this happend and how to prevent it, from this mans memory of the genocide and the hell that was created here on earth. It could happen anywhere in the world.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2006

    Dallaire, Hero Trying to Save Huminity From Itself.

    From assassination, through slaughter upon slaughter of both Hutus and Tutsis to a ghastly genocide, General Dallaire led the UN peacekeepers from crisis to crisis in attempting to save humanity from itself. From neither the UN nor the great powers did he receive anything like adequate support -- until the tide had turned. Then he was awash with too much too late, and it may have been in fact counter productive by propping up the losers long enough to kill for another month or so. If our goal is to understand peacekeeping in the modern world, this is an important book to read. So, also, the military types interested in peace keeping or problem resolution will find a wealth of experience here. In historical perspective, this ultimate tragedy was only one of several in the Great Lakes region of Africa. In psychological perspective, it is a revelation in how humanity can turn on itself in such devastating ways, ignoring the principles of society, even those of Nature itself. His book title reflects his feelings when he had to cooperate with the genocidaires, however briefly. He felt he was compromising his basic being and betraying humankind. Dallaire paid a terrible personal price as a consequence. He discusses his own internal stress so vivdly one feels his pain walking through the pages. Three features stand out in sharp relief: 1) Part of humanity reverting to its jungle inheritance of predation. 2) The rest of humanity ignoring or manipulating the protagonists to their own advantage. 3) A very small part of humanity doing what they could to help, but with too little organization to be of the kind of help actually required. History now has a red flag waving, employing fear motivation to drive people to extremes. Nevertheless, Dallaire ends his notable book with optimism that humanity can still find its way.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2006

    Incredible

    This book was the most in depth account of Rwanda's massacre I have ever read. It is truly heartbreaking, and yet inspiring that in the midst of these horrible acts...someone was willing to stand strong. I was so impacted by this book that I actually went to see Gen Romeo Dallaire speak at a local University. He is as eloquent in person as he is on paper. I hope that he will find peace someday, and that this tragedy will never take place again!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2006

    Mind buggling

    Shake Hands with the Devil In this account of the Rwandan genocide, General Romeo Dallaire vividly reveals to the reader the total failure of the international community to stop the genocide. He gives a succinct outline of the failures of the international community, including the United Nations, the UN Security Council, and many NGOs, and bravely holds nations like France responsible for doing nothing despite the strong influence they had on the Hutu extremist Rwandan government which ended up killing over 800,000 minority Tutsis and moderate Hutus. Dallaire distinguished himself as someone with a great deal of courage who went through hell without breaking and goes further to relive the hell in this book so that we might learn from it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2006

    GREATEST ACCOUNT EVER WRITTEN

    Whoever has not laid their hands on this account, or doesn't know what book to read about the crisis in Rwanda should read this book first. All other books shy away from the details in this book, I was able to smell the corspe of the dead in this book. Litteraly!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2005

    Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda

    It¿s almost fitting that the task of reviewing, and therefore reading, Shake Hands with the Devil, Roméo Dallaire¿s wrenching first-hand account of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, was a task studiously avoided by many of us around the offices of ascent. Fitting, as it mirrors in a microcosm how Dallaire¿s cries for help were also largely ignored at the time by the West. Shake Hands with the Devil is a haunted survivor¿s attempt to assess responsibility in ¿the failure of humanity in Rwanda,¿ wherein 800,000 people were massacred over a period of 100 days. Dallaire¿s point is not merely to point fingers, but rather to learn where mistakes were made so that future interventions by the world community into conflicts might render these intercessions more facile. While highly emotional, this book is also fair and balanced in its criticism, never confusing true emotion with sentimentality. One example is Dallaire¿s criticism of the Belgian government, which has a long and shameful colonial history in Rwanda. Although the Belgians lost ten soldiers in a massacre, Dallaire doesn¿t allow that tragedy to temper his disapproval of their behaviour during the genocide. In fact, no one escapes Dallaire¿s just criticism, from United Nations and world leaders arguing semantics over UN decrees while hundreds of thousands of people were being slaughtered, to US army assessors¿ macabre accounting that the life of one US soldier was valued equal to the lives of 80,000 Rwandans, and of course, the perpetrators of the genocide themselves ¿ the normal people who just woke up one morning and joined in the killing of their former neighbours. Shake Hands with the Devil is a great guttural wail of humanity coming from one who has witnessed its worst possible behaviour. It is telling that while Dallaire paints his account of the atrocities in broad strokes, he reserves more detailed accounts to quoting other observers: his second-in-command, UNHCR commanders and other NGO workers. It is as if he himself cannot find a voice to speak of things that no one should ever see. Ultimately, this book stands as Roméo Dallaire¿s confession and self-indictment. This seeming paradox of a man ¿ a career soldier who is a gentle, eloquent spokesman for peace ¿ still cannot forgive himself for what he sees as his failure in being unable to stop the killing a decade ago. The horrors witnessed in Rwanda, coupled with the impotence of his UN mandate and scarce resources of an ill-equipped force of only 500, have left this brave man scarred, prematurely aged, forced into early retirement from post-traumatic stress syndrome, and a survivor of multiple suicide attempts. This book filled me with an overpowering moral outrage, but ultimately it allows a small glimpse of hope. The survivors of the Rwandan genocide have attempted to rebuild their country with a non-partisan government not based upon ethnic lines. Roméo Dallaire came back from the edge of hell with hope that the new century will be what he calls the ¿century of humanity.¿ Where human beings will rise above violence, while recognizing that the poverty that leaves much of the world without hope is the source of most violent conflict and therefore must be eliminated to help bring peace. Dallaire believes that we can rise above notions of race that led Hutu to kill Tutsi ¿ notions that raise the question of whether Western nations would have stood by while a nation of non-Africans were slaughtered en masse. In all this uncertainty, Roméo Dallaire is still able to entertain these hopes, and the fact that a hardened, former high-level military leader who has witnessed the ultimate savage potential of human beings can still have faith in mankind helped restore my own hope for humanity, flawed as we are.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2005

    The world is crazy

    This book helped to solidify for me my philosophy that all men are evil. These men and women were ordinary people who were underdeveloped intellectually and spiritually. The book was well written and even though it gave me nightmares I was sad when I realized I was at the end. If you are interested in world affairs, governments, and the nature of man, read this book. EXCELLENT READ.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2004

    A true Hero

    I have been reading up on Dallaire for a while. On my research, I have found him to be a very strong and leader with a conscience. It takes great bravery to care for people that the world consider insignificant. This book shows the failures of the UN and the Governments of the world, to step in and stop the killing of 800,000 people. As you read, you can feel the emotion and frustration. I just hope the world can learn from the mistakes made with Rwanda

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2004

    You must read this. Yes, you.

    This book will alter your view of humanity and the role of the international community. Every American should read this before screaming 'Not our boys!'.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2004

    A must-read for educators

    General Dallaire's account of the Rwandan genocide, and the total failure of the international community to stop it, is an essential read. I commend Dallaire for reliving the hell he went through so that we might learn from it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2004

    Eye Opener

    Before reading this book I had the basic understanding that a lot of people were ruthlessly murdered in Rwanda. After reading the general's book, I find my self having a decent grasp of the framework of a genocide. The general takes an emotional, yet seemingly fair look at what happened. This was the first book I have read on the subject, but the general has convinced me to read as much as possible regarding the twisted events in Rwanda. Since he was actually in the middle of the events as they occured, the general gives the reader a feeling of actually being there with him as the events unfold. The only thing the general leaves out is a scratch-n-sniff patch in the back cover, and thank you general for that.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2004

    The Whole Story

    Romeo Dallaire doesn't pull any punches in this book. Outlining the failure of the international community, including the United Nations, the UN Security Council, and many NGOs, Dallaire presents an astonishing account of how the genocide which killed over 800,000 people could have been prevented. This book is a must read for anyone who has faith in the ability of the UN to solve international issues.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2004

    Incredible & moving

    Well written. A must read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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