The Devil Came on Horseback: Bearing Witness to the Genocide in Darfur

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Overview

The Devil Came on Horseback leads you through the tragic impact of an Arab government bent on destroying its black African citizens, the frustrating complexity of international inactions in response to blatant genocide, and the awkward, yet heroic transformation of a former Marine turned humanitarian. This compelling autobiographical account bears witness to unmentionable atrocities while offering listeners evidence that the actions of just one committed person have the power to...

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Overview

The Devil Came on Horseback leads you through the tragic impact of an Arab government bent on destroying its black African citizens, the frustrating complexity of international inactions in response to blatant genocide, and the awkward, yet heroic transformation of a former Marine turned humanitarian. This compelling autobiographical account bears witness to unmentionable atrocities while offering listeners evidence that the actions of just one committed person have the power to transform the world.

When he realized his daily reports were falling on deaf ears, Brian Steidle resigned from his position, returned home, and began speaking out publicly about what he saw, putting his life and career at risk. Despite threats from Sudanese officials, efforts from our government to silence him, and backlash from the humanitarian aid groups he wished to support, Brian has dedicated himself to carrying his story to the people and leaders of the Western world. He has been heralded by U.S. senators as a "true American hero" and is now recognized as a catalyst for international attention on Darfur.

This is an intense, vivid report and call to action from the heart of violent Darfur by a former American Marine who became a military observer for the African Union—a powerful memoir of a soldier's awakening to conscience—and the first extensive on-the-ground account of the genocide in Sudan.

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Editorial Reviews

New York Post
Nothing could be more necessary or timely . . . a powerful first-hand account of the Darfur genocide.
Minneapolis Star-Tribune
Raw and disturbing, the descriptions evocative and heartbreaking. It is the story behind the story in the daily newspaper.
Deseret News
A seamy, horrendous account of massive killing with impunity . . . .The book is sobering and disturbing.
Indianapolis Star
[Steidle] recounts the brutality he watched unfold . . . prompting him to resign in frustration as the world turned a blind eye.
Publishers Weekly

Though Cummings seems younger and more naïve than the narrator of this appalling history, he does convey the growing disbelief and revulsion that former Marine Captain Steidle feels during his six months as an African Union observer of the Darfur genocide. In ever-rising tones, Cummings conveys Steidle's developing incredulity, frustration, horror and impotence as he witnesses and actually photographs the janjaweed arrive on horseback to systematically rape, torture, murder and mass slaughter 200,000 men, women and children, then loot and torch one village after another. Every day the unarmed AU observers interview the victims and the perpetrators, but their mandate is to observe and report on each infringement of the so-called cease-fire; they can in no way interfere-no matter how horrific the crime. What is hardest for Steidle (and listeners) to stomach is the utter complacency of the U.N., the U.S. and the world's other powers mutely observing what can only be called genocide. (On April 16, 2007, Sudan finally approved the deployment of attack helicopters and 3,000 U.N. peacekeepers.) Simultaneous release with the Public Affairs hardcover (Reviews, Feb. 26). (Apr.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal

You have certainly read about, heard about, and even seen the pictures from Darfur and wondered "Why?" This horrifying memoir, written by a boots-on-the-ground former marine who served in Darfur as an unarmed military observer for the African Union, grips you in the horrors of genocide and of international inaction. Encouraged by his sister (founder, Global Grassroots), to whom he sent emails, the author became a fiery, impassioned advocate for world action. The descriptions of atrocities perpetrated by the Janjaweed ("devils on horseback") in order to "cleanse" an entire people, where Arab Muslims kill African Muslims because the Africans are "too black" defy comprehension. Angered and repelled by the denials and the reluctance of the international community to become involved, Steidle steadfastly used his camera to record the horrors of what he witnessed. Finally, he left the mission to create a documentary and photo exhibit and to write this chilling account of a four-year war resulting in 300,000-plus deaths and the displacement of 2.5 million people. For its daily eyewitness account of the Darfur genocide, this is recommended for all libraries interested in current affairs or African history.
—Mary C. Allen

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781433239427
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/1/2012
  • Format: MP3 on CD

Meet the Author


Brian Steidle, a former Captain in the Marine Corps, worked for the African Union where he served in Darfur. He has made several return trips to Africa and now gives lectures across the country, including Harvard, Princeton, Stanford and UCLA, about Darfur. Gretchen Steidle Wallace, Brian's sister and the founder of Global Grassroots, has a BA in foreign affairs from the University of Virginia and an MBA from the Tuck School at Dartmouth College. They live in New Hampshire.
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Customer Reviews

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