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

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Overview


Former United States Marine Brian Steidle served for six months in Darfur as an unarmed military observer for the African Union. There he witnessed first-hand the ongoing genocide, and documented every day of his experience using email, audio journals, notebook after notebook and nearly 1,000 photographs. Gretchen Steidle Wallace, his sister, who wrote this book with Brian, corresponded with him throughout his time in Darfur. Fired upon, taken hostage, a witness to villages destroyed and people killed, ...
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The Devil Came on Horseback: Bearing Witness to the Genocide in Darfur

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Overview


Former United States Marine Brian Steidle served for six months in Darfur as an unarmed military observer for the African Union. There he witnessed first-hand the ongoing genocide, and documented every day of his experience using email, audio journals, notebook after notebook and nearly 1,000 photographs. Gretchen Steidle Wallace, his sister, who wrote this book with Brian, corresponded with him throughout his time in Darfur. Fired upon, taken hostage, a witness to villages destroyed and people killed, frustrated by his mission's limitations and the international community's reluctance to intervene, Steidle resigned and has since become an advocate for the world to step in and stop this genocide.

The Devil Came on Horseback depicts the tragic impact of an Arab government bent on destroying its black African citizens, the maddening complexity of international inaction in response to blatant genocide, and the awkward, yet heroic transformation of a formerMarine turned humanitarian. It is a gripping and moving memoir that bears witness to atrocities we have too long averted our eyes from, and reveals that the actions of just one committed person have the power to change the world.

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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: 9781586485696
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs
  • Publication date: 3/3/2008
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 801,417
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

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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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2012

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 2, 2012

    Must Read

    The Devil Came on Horseback is a must be read educational book about the genocide that occurred in Darfur. This book is a vivid autobiographical book that was written by a Marine that went to Darfur to be a monitor for the African Union. Brian feels frustrated that he can't help the people the he is documenting. He passes that feeling into the reader as you read the very descriptive scenes that he is forced to see everyday of his one year term in Sudan. You will want to see the movie after you read the book.

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  • Posted May 18, 2010

    Great Book

    This is a great book. Brian is a great man and God bless him.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2009

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    Posted October 29, 2008

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    Posted January 18, 2010

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    Posted December 15, 2008

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