Shake Hands With The Devil

Shake Hands With The Devil

The Failure Of Humanity In Rwanda

Book - 2003
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On the tenth anniversary of the date that UN peacekeepers landed in Rwanda, Random House Canada is proud to publish the unforgettable first-hand account of the genocide by the man who led the UN mission. Digging deep into shattering memories, General Dallaire has written a powerful story of betrayal, naïveté, racism and international politics. His message is simple and undeniable: "Never again."

When Lt-Gen. Roméo Dallaire received the call to serve as force commander of the UN intervention in Rwanda in 1993, he thought he was heading off on a modest and straightforward peacekeeping mission. Thirteen months later he flew home from Africa, broken, disillusioned and suicidal, having witnessed the slaughter of 800,000 Rwandans in only a hundred days. In Shake Hands with the Devil, he takes the reader with him on a return voyage into the hell of Rwanda, vividly recreating the events the international community turned its back on. This book is an unsparing eyewitness account of the failure by humanity to stop the genocide, despite timely warnings.

Woven through the story of this disastrous mission is Dallaire's own journey from confident Cold Warrior, to devastated UN commander, to retired general engaged in a painful struggle to find a measure of peace, reconciliation and hope. This book is General Dallaire's personal account of his conversion from a man certain of his worth and secure in his assumptions to a man conscious of his own weaknesses and failures and critical of the institutions he'd relied on. It might not sit easily with standard ideas of military leadership, but understanding what happened to General Dallaire and his mission to Rwanda is crucial to understanding the moral minefields our peacekeepers are forced to negotiate when we ask them to step into the world's dirty wars.

Excerpt from Shake Hands with the Devil
My story is not a strictly military account nor a clinical, academic study of the breakdown of Rwanda. It is not a simplistic indictment of the many failures of the UN as a force for peace in the world. It is not a story of heroes and villains, although such a work could easily be written. This book is a cri de coeur for the slaughtered thousands, a tribute to the souls hacked apart by machetes because of their supposed difference from those who sought to hang on to power. . . . This book is the account of a few humans who were entrusted with the role of helping others taste the fruits of peace. Instead, we watched as the devil took control of paradise on earth and fed on the blood of the people we were supposed to protect.
Publisher: Toronto : Random House Canada, c2003.
ISBN: 9780679311713
Characteristics: xviii, 562 p. : maps ; 24 cm.
Additional Contributors: Beardsley, Brent


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Jun 28, 2018

June 28 2018.....I found this book difficult to read because of all the acronyms. However I toughed it out, as I thought the subject was something that I should really get to know. The last 125 pages were captivating.....maybe because I was glad that his ordeal was coming to a close! I have to say, I can never complain about anything in my life after reading this nightmare. I thought his words on the last few pages were so enlightening. When I get down, I will just think of Romeo Dallaire and give myself a kick in the butt from now on!

Aug 03, 2015

Certainly not for the faint of heart but an important document of the harsh realities of our modern world. Dallaire's first-hand account of his involvement in the Rwandan genocide in 1994, an experience that came close to destroying him emotionally and mentally is at times frightening, at times simply tragic. Surely, it was the UN's darkest hour, displaying the stark, relentless, bitter truth of the impotence of that organization in the face of unbridled barbarism.

AMILLERGIRL Mar 23, 2014

i am to afaid that i might be haunted by horrors that went on in Rwanda

Apr 28, 2012

A haunting, powerfully written book by the commander of the UN peacekeeping mission in Rwanda during the genocide. It's difficult to read, because you'll come away from the book angry and disgusted frequently. The disregard of most of the world to what was going on in Africa at the time, the horrors of the genocide, the brutality of what happened... all of these things will horrify you. Dallaire paid a steep price, placed into an impossible position and unable to act. He went to Rwanda a proud soldier and came back a broken man, shattered by what he had witnessed. The book serves as a damning indictment of much of the world for its thoughtlessness, and as a reminder of just how cruel human beings can be.

Mar 03, 2012

cruel politics, humans are dispensible.

Jan 31, 2012

This is a horrifying tale to with the Rwandan genoicide. Mr. R. Dallaire is the author, as well as the appointed commander of the Peace Keeping efforts at this time....A man with way too much responsibility with way too few resources and support....awful..

Oct 20, 2008

painful writing


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Aug 11, 2009

Serving in Rwanda in 1003 as a UN Force Commander, Lieutenant General Romeo Dellaire and his small UN peacekeeping force found themselves abandoned by the world's major powers in a vortex of civil war and genocide. With meager resources to stem the killing, General Dellaire was witness to the murder of 800,000 Rwandans in a hundred days, and returned home broken, dissillusioned and suicidal.

Shake Hands with the Devil is his return to Rwanda: a searing book that is both an eyewitness account of the failure of humanity to stop the genocide, and the story of General Dellaire's own struggle to find a measure of peace, reconciliation and hope.

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