Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda

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Shake Hands with the Devil Book Cover Shake Hands with the Devil
Roméo Dallaire, Brent Beardsley,
Da Capo Press
January 1, 2005

A Canadian general and former United Nations peacekeeper shares his harrowing eyewitness account of the genocide in Rwanda, revealing how he and his men managed to rescue thousands of people despite the orgy of bloodletting that was erupting all around them. Reprint.

Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda

Shake Hands with the Devil is the story of how in 1994, an estimated 800,000 Tutsis were murdered in Rwanda. Lieutenant General Roméo Dallaire was tasked by the UN with keeping that peace, but unsupported by the Security Council, his soldiers were unable to stop the genocide.

General Roméo Dallaire was naive about the workings of the United Nations.  He did not understand that if he went to New York and made his case and they gave him a hearing, that didn’t mean that they would comply with his recommendations.  For General Roméo Dallaire, either they should have been pulled out or they just should have been allowed to prevent the genocide.  The future of a nation was riding a lot on how the UN was doing it.

Shake Hands With The Devil reveals for the first time in the United States the tragic and profoundly important story of the legendary Canadian general (Romeo Dallaire) who “watched as the devil took control of paradise on earth and fed on the blood of the people we were supposed to protect.” When Roméo Dallaire was called on to serve as force commander of the UN Assistance Mission for Rwanda, he believed that his assignment was to help two warring parties achieve the peace they both wanted. Instead, he was exposed to the most barbarous and chaotic display of civil war and genocide in the past decade, observing in just one hundred days the killings of more than eight hundred thousand Rwandans. With only a few troops, his own ingenuity and courage to direct his efforts, Dallaire rescued thousands, but his call for more support from the world body fell on deaf ears. In Shake Hands with the Devil, General Dallaire recreates the awful history the world community chose to ignore. He also chronicles his own progression from confident Cold Warrior to devastated UN commander, and finally to retired general struggling painfully, and publicly, to overcome posttraumatic stress disorder—the highest-ranking officer ever to share such experiences with readers.  Shake Hands With The Devil is available on Amazon.

A movie version of the book was also made also with the same title and is available on DVD.


In a similar note, a modern version of genocide is apparently happening in the Middle East right now.  Empire of Fear: Inside the Islamic State is an account of the brutal ideology and exterminationist methods of IS.

Similar Books:

Machete Season: The Killers in Rwanda Speak

A Thousand Hills: Rwanda’s Rebirth and the Man Who Dreamed It

“”A Problem from Hell””: America and the Age of Genocide

Dancing in the Glory of Monsters: The Collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africa

They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children: The Global Quest to Eradicate the Use of Child Soldiers

Waiting for First Light: My Ongoing Battle with PTSD

Rwanda, Inc.: How a Devastated Nation Became an Economic Model for the Developing World

Life Laid Bare: The Survivors in Rwanda Speak

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

Understanding Peacekeeping

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