Inside the Hotel Rwanda: The Surprising True Story . . . and Why It Matters Today

BenBella Books, Inc.
3
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A survivor of the 1994 Rwandan genocide reveals what really went on at the famed Hôtel des Mille Collines.
 
In 2004, the Academy Award–nominated movie Hotel Rwanda lionized hotel manager Paul Rusesabagina for single-handedly saving the lives of all who sought refuge in the Hôtel des Mille Collines during the genocide against the Tutsi in 1994. Because of the film, the real-life Rusesabagina has been compared to Oskar Schindler. In this first-person account, survivor Edouard Kayihura tells his own personal story of what life was really like during those harrowing days within the walls of that infamous hotel, and offers the testimonies of others who survived there, from Hutu and Tutsi to UN peacekeepers.
 
In the wake of Hotel Rwanda’s international success, the author reveals, Rusesabagina is one of today’s most well-known Rwandans—but has become the face of the very Hutu Power groups who drove the genocide. He is accused by the Rwandan prosecutor general of being a genocide negationist and funding the terrorist group Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR). This book exposes the Hollywood hero as a profiteering and politically ambitious Hutu Power sympathizer who extorted money from those who sought refuge, threatening to send those who did not pay to the génocidaires, despite pleas from the hotel’s corporate ownership to stop.
 
Inside the Hotel Rwanda is at once a harrowing memoir, a critical deconstruction of a heralded Hollywood movie, and a political analysis aimed at exposing a falsely created public image.
 
“This book offers a window into the real life experience of those who hid in the Hôtel des Mille Collines during the 100 days of the genocide. For those who have learned of this story only through the famous movie Hotel Rwanda, the story of Edouard Kayihura is a privileged opportunity to put reality to the Hollywood dramatization.” —Lieutenant-General Roméo Dallaire (retired) force commander of the United Nations peacekeeping force for Rwanda between 1993 and 1994
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Additional Information

Publisher
BenBella Books, Inc.
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Published on
Apr 1, 2014
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Pages
240
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ISBN
9781937856731
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Survival
History / Africa / General
Performing Arts / Film / History & Criticism
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Though the world was stunned by the horrific massacres of Tutsi by the Hutu majority in Rwanda beginning in April 1994, there has been little coverage of the reprisals that occurred after the Tutsi gained political power. During this time hundreds of thousands of Hutu were systematically hunted and killed.
Surviving the Slaughter: The Ordeal of a Rwandan Refugee in Zaire is the eyewitness account of Marie Béatrice Umutesi. She tells of life in the refugee camps in Zaire and her flight across 2000 kilometers on foot. During this forced march, far from the world’s cameras, many Hutu refugees were trampled and murdered. Others died from hunger, exhaustion, and sickness, or simply vanished, ignored by the international community and betrayed by humanitarian organizations. Amidst this brutality, day-to-day suffering, and desperate survival, Umutesi managed to organize the camps to improve the quality of life for women and children.
In this first-hand account of inexplicable brutality, day-to-day suffering, and survival, Marie Béatrice Umutesi sheds light on a backlash of violence that targeted the Hutu refugees of Rwanda after the victory of the Rwandan Patriotic Front in 1994. Umutesi’s documentation of the flight and terror of these years provides the world a veritable account of a history that is still widely unknown. After translations from its original French into three other languages, this important book is available in English for the first time. It is more than a testimony to the lives and humanity lost; it is a call for those politicians, military personnel, and humanitarian organizations responsible for the atrocious crimes—and the devastating silence—to be held accountable.


“Umutesi’s tale, told with honesty and eloquence, is a tribute to the human spirit, a searing indictment of the agents who perpetrated these horrors, and a reproach to those who turned away.”—Catharine Newbury, African Studies Review

“Restores a human dimension that has been lacking in the history of the genocide and massacres in Rwanda.”—Danielle de Lame, African Studies Review

“A vivid account of the grueling nightmare experienced by tens of thousands of Rwandan civilians whom the world had deliberately forsaken. . . . An outstanding call for justice.”—Aloys Habimama, African Studies Review

“A towering work. . . . An epic for our times, a tale to ponder for the lessons it conveys, testimony so powerful and moving that it reaches an unintended literary greatness.”—Jan Vansina, African Studies Review

“Of all the current books and films ten years after the Rwandan genocide, none is more effective than Surviving the Slaughter . . . . This book carries one along, often as if running with the refugees.”—Anne Serafin, Multicultural Review
A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

“The plot provided by the universe was filled with starvation, war and rape. I would not—could not—live in that tale.”
 
Clemantine Wamariya was six years old when her mother and father began to speak in whispers, when neighbors began to disappear, and when she heard the loud, ugly sounds her brother said were thunder. In 1994, she and her fifteen-year-old sister, Claire, fled the Rwandan massacre and spent the next six years migrating through seven African countries, searching for safety—perpetually hungry, imprisoned and abused, enduring and escaping refugee camps, finding unexpected kindness, witnessing inhuman cruelty. They did not know whether their parents were dead or alive.
 
When Clemantine was twelve, she and her sister were granted refugee status in the United States; there, in Chicago, their lives diverged. Though their bond remained unbreakable, Claire, who had for so long protected and provided for Clemantine, was a single mother struggling to make ends meet, while Clemantine was taken in by a family who raised her as their own. She seemed to live the American dream: attending private school, taking up cheerleading, and, ultimately, graduating from Yale. Yet the years of being treated as less than human, of going hungry and seeing death, could not be erased. She felt at the same time six years old and one hundred years old.
 
In The Girl Who Smiled Beads, Clemantine provokes us to look beyond the label of “victim” and recognize the power of the imagination to transcend even the most profound injuries and aftershocks. Devastating yet beautiful, and bracingly original, it is a powerful testament to her commitment to constructing a life on her own terms.
Hilarious and heartfelt observations on aging from one of America's favorite comedians as he turns 65, and a look back at a remarkable career in this New York Times bestseller.

Billy Crystal is turning 65, and he's not happy about it. With his trademark wit and heart, he outlines the absurdities and challenges that come with growing old, from insomnia to memory loss to leaving dinners with half your meal on your shirt. In humorous chapters like "Buying the Plot" and "Nodding Off," Crystal not only catalogues his physical gripes, but offers a road map to his 77 million fellow baby boomers who are arriving at this milestone age with him. He also looks back at the most powerful and memorable moments of his long and storied life, from entertaining his relatives as a kid in Long Beach, Long Island, his years doing stand-up in the Village, up through his legendary stint at Saturday Night Live, When Harry Met Sally, and his long run as host of the Academy Awards. Readers get a front-row seat to his one-day career with the New York Yankees (he was the first player to ever "test positive for Maalox"), his love affair with Sophia Loren, and his enduring friendships with several of his idols, including Mickey Mantle and Muhammad Ali. He lends a light touch to more serious topics like religion ("the aging friends I know have turned to the Holy Trinity: Advil, bourbon, and Prozac"), grandparenting, and, of course, dentistry. As wise and poignant as they are funny, Crystal's reflections are an unforgettable look at an extraordinary life well lived.

A Pulitzer Prize–winning, #1 New York Times bestseller, Angela’s Ashes is Frank McCourt’s masterful memoir of his childhood in Ireland.

“When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I managed to survive at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood.”

So begins the luminous memoir of Frank McCourt, born in Depression-era Brooklyn to recent Irish immigrants and raised in the slums of Limerick, Ireland. Frank’s mother, Angela, has no money to feed the children since Frank’s father, Malachy, rarely works, and when he does he drinks his wages. Yet Malachy—exasperating, irresponsible, and beguiling—does nurture in Frank an appetite for the one thing he can provide: a story. Frank lives for his father’s tales of Cuchulain, who saved Ireland, and of the Angel on the Seventh Step, who brings his mother babies.

Perhaps it is story that accounts for Frank’s survival. Wearing rags for diapers, begging a pig’s head for Christmas dinner and gathering coal from the roadside to light a fire, Frank endures poverty, near-starvation and the casual cruelty of relatives and neighbors—yet lives to tell his tale with eloquence, exuberance, and remarkable forgiveness.

Angela’s Ashes, imbued on every page with Frank McCourt’s astounding humor and compassion, is a glorious book that bears all the marks of a classic.
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