Waiting for First Light: My Ongoing Battle with PTSD

Waiting for First Light: My Ongoing Battle with PTSD

by Romeo Dallaire

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Overview

Waiting for First Light: My Ongoing Battle with PTSD by Romeo Dallaire

Longlisted for the RBC Taylor Prize: In this piercing memoir, Roméo Dallaire, retired general and former senator, the author of the bestsellers Shake Hands with the Devil andThey Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children, and one of the world's leading humanitarians, delves deep into his life since the Rwandan genocide.


At the heart of Waiting for First Light is a no-holds-barred self-portrait of a top political and military figure whose nights are invaded by despair, but who at first light faces the day with the renewed desire to make a difference in the world.
     Roméo Dallaire, traumatized by witnessing genocide on an imponderable scale in Rwanda, reflects in these pages on the nature of PTSD and the impact of that deep wound on his life since 1994, and on how he motivates himself and others to humanitarian work despite his constant struggle. Though he had been a leader in peace and in war at all levels up to deputy commander of the Canadian Army, his PTSD led to his medical dismissal from the Canadian Forces in April 2000, a blow that almost killed him. But he crawled out of the hole he fell into after he had to take off the uniform, and he has been inspiring people to give their all to multiple missions ever since, from ending genocide to eradicating the use of child soldiers to revolutionizing officer training so that our soldiers can better deal with the muddy reality of modern conflict zones and to revolutionizing our thinking about the changing nature of conflict itself.
     His new book is as compelling and original an account of suffering and endurance as Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking and William Styron's Darkness Visible.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345814432
Publisher: Random House of Canada, Limited
Publication date: 10/25/2016
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

ROMÉO DALLAIRE is a retired lieutenant-general, retired Canadian senator, and celebrated humanitarian. In 1993, LGen Dallaire was appointed force commander for UNAMIR, where he bore witness to the Rwandan genocide. His Governor General's Literary Award-winning book, Shake Hands with the Devil, exposed the failures of the international community to stop that genocide. It has been turned into an Emmy Award-winning documentary as well as a feature film; it has also been entered into evidence in war crimes tribunals trying the perpetrators of the Rwandan genocide. Dallaire has received numerous honours and awards, including Officer of the Order of Canada in 2002 and the United Nations Association in Canada’s Pearson Peace Medal in 2005. His second book, They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children, was also a national bestseller. Since his retirement, he has become an outspoken advocate for human rights, mental health and war-affected children. He founded the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative, an organization committed to progressively ending the use of child soldiers worldwide through a security sector approach. 

JESSICA DEE HUMPHREYS is co-author of the acclaimed bestsellers Child Soldier: How Boys and Girls are Used in War and They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children.


Table of Contents

Preface xi

1 "The many men, so beautiful!" 1

2 "Alone, alone, all, all alone" 53

3 "Twas sad as sad could be" 99

4 "I closed my lids, and kept them, close" 121

5 "Like one, that on a lonesome road" 145

6 "A sadder and a wiser man" 173

Acknowledgements 185

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