Debris Of Ham

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In the attempt to explain the mass killings of the Tutsi of Rwanda in April-July 1994, books written about the 1994 Rwandan genocide have focused on ethnicity at the expense of other factors, including the acrimonious history of regional politics in Rwanda since the turn of the twentieth century. In The Debris of Ham, Aimable Twagilimana argues that while ethnic ideology provided the materials for the relentless propaganda against the Tutsi and the Hutu of the political opposition in 1990-1994, in a parallel mode, regional politics provided the sine qua non that made the 1994 Rwandan genocide possible. This book investigates the juxtaposition of ethnicity and regionalism in Rwandan politics, and the unfolding of the worst mass murder at the end of the twentieth century.

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Editorial Reviews

Foreign Affairs
…a useful contribution to the growing literature on the Rwandan genocide.
Foreign Affairs
Twagilimana brings the local sensitivity and specialized knowledge of a native Rwandan to this account of the 1994 genocide. The author also presents a new historical perspective on the event: that it was the byproduct of long-standing regional rivalries among the country's Hutu ethnic majority. The organizers of the mass killings, a ruling clique of Hutus based in the northern Gisenyi and Ruhengeri regions, acted out of fear of losing power to the aggrieved southern Hutus, who were beginning to challenge northern dominance. Placing the Rwandan experience in a comparative framework, Twagilimana draws on studies of the Holocaust for insight into the pressures on those who were drafted to participate in mass murder. Although the text could have benefited from some basic editing, it contains enough interesting detail and original reflection to make a useful contribution to the growing literature on the Rwandan genocide.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761825852
  • Publisher: University Press of America
  • Publication date: 6/1/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 250
  • Product dimensions: 0.57 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 5.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Aimable Twagilimana is Associate Professor of English, SUNY College at Buffalo.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 List of Abbreviations Chapter 2 Preface and Acknowledgments Chapter 3 Introduction: From Auschwitz to Rwanda Chapter 4 Framing Rwanda: Ethnic and Nationalist Conflict in the Post-Cold War Era Chapter 5 The Hamatic Hypothesis and Rwandan Historiography Chapter 6 The Debris of Ham: From the 1959 Hutu Revolution to the Institutions of Ethnic and Regional Otherness Chapter 7 The Path to Genocide: Human Rights Violations as Genocide Rehearsals Chapter 8 From Region to Nation: Ordinary Rwandans and the 1994 Genocide Chapter 9 Remembering the Rwandan Genocide Chapter 10 Appendix: Some Important Dates in Rwandan History Chapter 11 Notes Chapter 12 Bibliography Chapter 13 Index

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