shake hands with the devil

BOOK REVIEW: 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

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: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda

The Best Account of the Genocide in Rwanda

From Amazon: THE NUMBER ONE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER WINNER OF THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S AWARD 'Indisputably the best account of the whole terrible Rwandan genocide.' R. W. Johnson, Sunday Times 'Angry, accusatory and extremely moving.' Caroline Moorhead, Spectator When Lieutenant General Romeo Dallaire received the call to serve as force commander of the UN mission to Rwanda, he thought he was heading off to Africa to help two warring parties achieve a peace both sides wanted. Instead, he and members of his small international force were caught up in a vortex of civil war and genocide. Dallaire left Rwanda a broken man; disillusioned, suicidal, and determined to tell his story. An award-winning international sensation, Shake Hands with the Devil is a landmark contribution to the literature of war: a remarkable tale of a soldier's courage and an unforgettable portrait of modern warfare. It is also a stinging indictment of the petty bureaucrats who refused to give Dallaire the men and the operational freedom he needed to stop the killing. 'I know there is a God,' Dallaire writes, 'because in Rwanda I shook hands with the devil. I have seen him, I have smelled him and I have touched him. I know the devil exists and therefore I know there is a God.' 'Read Romeo Dallaire's profoundly sad and moving book.' Madeleine Albright, Washington Post
About the Book

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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.

shake hands with the devil


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


Genres: History, Military & Wars
Publisher: Da Capo Press
Publication Year: 2004
Length: 592

About the Author
Roméo Dallaire

Lieutenant-General The Honourable Roméo A. Dallaire, O.C., C.M.M., G.O.C, M.S.C., C.D., (Retired), Senator, has had a distinguished career in the Canadian military, achieving the rank of Lieutenant-General and becoming Assistant Deputy Minister (Human Resources) in the Department of National Defence in 1998. In 1994, General Dallaire commanded the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR).

His book on his experiences in Rwanda, entitled Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda, was awarded the Governor General's Literary Award for Non-Fiction in 2004.

It has garnered numerous international literary awards, and is the basis of a full-length feature film released in September 2007.

Since his retirement from the military, Senator Dallaire has worked to bring an understanding of post-traumatic stress disorder to the general public. He has also been a visiting lecturer at several Canadian and American universities, and has written several articles and chapters in publications on conflict resolution, humanitarian assistance and human rights. While a Fellow of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, he pursued research on conflict resolution and the use of child soldiers.

As a champion of human rights his activities include:

* Advocacy for the Canadian Forces mission to Afghanistan;
* Speaking engagements on issues relating to human rights and genocide prevention;
* A Senior Fellowship at Concordia University's Montreal Institute of Genocide Studies;
* Membership in the United Nations Secretary General's Advisory Committee on Genocide Prevention;
* Leadership in a project to develop a conceptual base for the elimination of the use of child soldiers;
* Leadership in activities aimed at the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.

From Goodreads.

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