An unforgettable firsthand account of a people's response to genocide and what it tells us about humanity.This remarkable debut book chronicles what has happened in Rwanda and neighboring states since 1994, when the Rwandan government called on everyone in the Hutu majority to murder everyone in the Tutsi minority. Though the killing was low-tech--largely by machete--it was carried out at shocking speed: some 800,000 people were exterminated in a hundred days. A Tutsi pastor, in a letter to his church president, a Hutu, used the chilling phrase that gives Philip Gourevitch his title. With keen dramatic intensity, Gourevitch frames the genesis and horror of Rwanda's genocidal logic in the anguish of its aftermath: the mass displacements, the temptations of revenge and the quest for justice, the impossibly crowded prisons and refugee camps. Through intimate portraits of Rwandans in all walks of life, he focuses on the psychological and political challenges of survival and on how the new leaders of postcolonial Africa went to war in the Congo when resurgent genocidal forces threatened to overrun central Africa. Can a country composed largely of perpetrators and victims create a cohesive national society? This moving contribution to the literature of witness tells us much about the struggle everywhere to forge sane, habitable political orders, and about the stubbornness of the human spirit in a world of extremity. We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families is the winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction.
Soon to be a Netflix film
William Kamkwamba was born in Malawi, a country where magic ruled and modern science was mystery. It was also a land withered by drought and hunger. But William had read about windmills, and he dreamed of building one that would bring to his small village a set of luxuries that only 2 percent of Malawians could enjoy: electricity and running water. His neighbors called him misala--crazy--but William refused to let go of his dreams. With a small pile of once-forgotten science textbooks; some scrap metal, tractor parts, and bicycle halves; and an armory of curiosity and determination, he embarked on a daring plan to forge an unlikely contraption and small miracle that would change the lives around him.
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind is a remarkable true story about human inventiveness and its power to overcome crippling adversity. It will inspire anyone who doubts the power of one individual's ability to change his community and better the lives of those around him.
Robert Mugabe came to power in Zimbabwe in 1980 after a long civil war in Rhodesia. The white minority government had become an international outcast in refusing to give in to the inevitability of black majority rule. Finally the defiant white prime minister Ian Smith was forced to step down and Mugabe was elected president. Initially he promised reconciliation between white and blacks, encouraged Zimbabwe's economic and social development, and was admired throughout the world as one of the leaders of the emerging nations and as a model for a transition from colonial leadership. But as Martin Meredith shows in this history of Mugabe's rule, Mugabe from the beginning was sacrificing his purported ideals--and Zimbabwe's potential--to the goal of extending and cementing his autocratic leadership. Over time, Mugabe has become ever more dictatorial, and seemingly less and less interested in the welfare of his people, treating Zimbabwe's wealth and resources as spoils of war for his inner circle. In recent years he has unleashed a reign of terror and corruption in his country. Like the Congo, Angola, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Liberia, Zimbabwe has been on a steady slide to disaster. Now for the first time the whole story is told in detail by an expert. It is a riveting and tragic political story, a morality tale, and an essential text for understanding today's Africa.
London, 1788: a group of British gentlemen---geographers, scholars, politicians, humanitarians, and traders---decide it is time to solve the mysteries of Africa's unknown interior regions. Inspired by the Enlightenment quest for knowledge, they consider it a slur on the age that the interior of Africa still remains a mystery, that maps of the "dark continent" are populated with mythical beasts, imaginary landmarks, and fabled empires. As well, they hoped that more accurate knowledge of Africa would aid in the abolition of the slave trade.
These men, a mixed group of soldiers and gentlemen, ex-convicts, and social outcasts, form the African Association, the world's first geographical society, and over several decades send hardened, grizzled adventurers to replace speculation with facts and remove the beasts from the maps. The explorers who ventured forth included Mungo Park, whose account of his travels would be a bestseller for more than a century; American John Ledyard; and Jean Louis Burckhardt, the discoverer of Petra and Abu Simbel. Their exploits would include grueling crossings of the Sahara, the exploration of the Nile, and---most dramatically---the search for the great River Niger and its legendary city of gold: Timbuktu.
Anthony Sattin weaves the plotting of the London gentlemen and the experiences of their extraordinary explorers into a gripping account of high adventure, international intrigue, and geographical discovery. "The Gates of Africa" is a story of human courage and fatal ambition, a groundbreaking insight into the struggle to reveal the secrets of Africa.
In 1957, Ryszard Kapuscinski arrived in Africa to witness the beginning of the end of colonial rule as the first African correspondent of Poland's state newspaper. From the early days of independence in Ghana to the ongoing ethnic genocide in Rwanda, Kapuscinski has crisscrossed vast distances pursuing the swift, and often violent, events that followed liberation. Kapuscinski hitchhikes with caravans, wanders the Sahara with nomads, and lives in the poverty-stricken slums of Nigeria. He wrestles a king cobra to the death and suffers through a bout of malaria. What emerges is an extraordinary depiction of Africa--not as a group of nations or geographic locations--but as a vibrant and frequently joyous montage of peoples, cultures, and encounters. Kapuscinski's trenchant observations, wry analysis and overwhelming humanity paint a remarkable portrait of the continent and its people. His unorthodox approach and profound respect for the people he meets challenge conventional understandings of the modern problems faced by Africa at the dawn of the twenty-first century.
The riveting life story of Rusesabagina--the man whose heroism inspired the film Hotel Rwanda--is sure to become a classic of tolerance literature. An Ordinary Man explores what the film could not: the inner life of the man who became one of the most prominent public faces of that terrible conflict. 8-page photo insert.
Journalist Helene Cooper examines the violent past of her home country Liberia and the effects of its 1980 military coup in this deeply personal memoir and finalist for the 2008 National Book Critics Circle Award.Helene Cooper is "Congo," a descendant of two Liberian dynasties--traced back to the first ship of freemen that set sail from New York in 1820 to found Monrovia. Helene grew up at Sugar Beach, a twenty-two-room mansion by the sea. Her childhood was filled with servants, flashy cars, a villa in Spain, and a farmhouse up-country. It was also an African childhood, filled with knock foot games and hot pepper soup, heartmen and neegee. When Helene was eight, the Coopers took in a foster child--a common custom among the Liberian elite. Eunice, a Bassa girl, suddenly became known as "Mrs. Cooper's daughter." For years the Cooper daughters--Helene, her sister Marlene, and Eunice--blissfully enjoyed the trappings of wealth and advantage. But Liberia was like an unwatched pot of water left boiling on the stove. And on April 12, 1980, a group of soldiers staged a coup d' tat, assassinating President William Tolbert and executing his cabinet. The Coopers and the entire Congo class were now the hunted, being imprisoned, shot, tortured, and raped. After a brutal daylight attack by a ragtag crew of soldiers, Helene, Marlene, and their mother fled Sugar Beach, and then Liberia, for America. They left Eunice behind. A world away, Helene tried to assimilate as an American teenager. At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill she found her passion in journalism, eventually becoming a reporter for the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. She reported from every part of the globe--except Africa--as Liberia descended into war-torn, third-world hell. In 2003, a near-death experience in Iraq convinced Helene that Liberia--and Eunice--could wait no longer. At once a deeply personal memoir and an examination of a violent and stratified country, The House at Sugar Beach tells of tragedy, forgiveness, and transcendence with unflinching honesty and a survivor's gentle humor. And at its heart, it is a story of Helene Cooper's long voyage home.
For three months in the spring of 1994, the African nation of Rwanda descended into one of the most vicious and bloody genocides the world has ever seen. Immacul e Ilibagiza, a young university student, miraculously survived the savage killing spree that left most of her family, friends, and a million of her fellow citizens dead. Immacul e's remarkable story of survival was documented in her first book, Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust.In Led By Faith, Immacul e takes us with her as her remarkable journey continues. Through her simple and eloquent voice, we experience her hardships and heartache as she struggles to survive and to find meaning and purpose in the aftermath of the holocaust. It is the story of a na ve and vulnerable young woman, orphaned and alone, navigating through a bleak and dangerously hostile world with only an abiding faith in God to guide and protect her. Immacul e fends off sinister new predators, seeks out and comforts scores of children orphaned by the genocide, and searches for love and companionship in a land where hatred still flourishes. Then, fearing again for her safety as Rwanda's war-crime trials begin, Immacul e flees to America to begin a new chapter of her life as a refugee and immigrant--a stranger in a strange land.With the same courage and faith in God that led her through the darkness of genocide, Immacul e discovers a new life that was beyond her wildest dreams as a small girl in a tiny village in one of Africa's poorest countries.It is in the United States, her adopted country, where Immacul e can finally look back at all that has happened to her and truly understand why God spared her life . . . so that she would be left to tell her story to the world.
"I am the translator who has taken journalists into dangerous Darfur. It is my intention now to take you there in this book, if you have the courage to come with me."
The young life of Daoud Hari-his friends call him David-has been one of bravery and mesmerizing adventure. He is a living witness to the brutal genocide under way in Darfur.
"The Translator" is a suspenseful, harrowing, and deeply moving memoir of how one person has made a difference in the world-an on-the-ground account of one of the biggest stories of our time. Using his high school knowledge of languages as his weapon-while others around him were taking up arms-Daoud Hari has helped inform the world about Darfur.
Hari, a Zaghawa tribesman, grew up in a village in the Darfur region of Sudan. As a child he saw colorful weddings, raced his camels across the desert, and played games in the moonlight after his work was done. In 2003, this traditional life was shattered when helicopter gunships appeared over Darfur's villages, followed by Sudanese-government-backed militia groups attacking on horseback, raping and murdering citizens and burning villages. Ancient hatreds and greed for natural resources had collided, and the conflagration spread.
Though Hari's village was attacked and destroyedhis family decimated and dispersed, he himself escaped. Roaming the battlefield deserts on camels, he and a group of his friends helped survivors find food, water, and the way to safety. When international aid groups and reporters arrived, Hari offered his services as a translator and guide. In doing so, he risked his life again and again, for the government of Sudan had outlawed journalists in the region, and death was the punishment for those who aided the "foreign spies." And then, inevitably, his luck ran out and he was captured. . . .
"The Translator" tells the remarkable story of a man who came face-to-face with genocide- time and again risking his own life to fight injustice and save his people.