We Wish to Inform you
that Tomorrow we will be Killed with our Families


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We Wish to Inform you that Tomorrow we will be Killed with our Families: Stories From Rwanda
by Philip Gourevitch, 1999

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 This is the paperback edition. The hardback is also available.

Book Description
A New York Times Editor's Choice
Winner of:
The National Book Critics Circle Award for Non-Fiction
The Los Angeles Times Book Prize
The George K. Polk Award for Foreign Reporting
The Helen Bernstein Book Award
The Overseas Press Club Cornelius Ryan Best Book Award
The PEN/Martha Albrand Award for First Non-Fiction

In April 1994, the government of Rwanda called on everyone in the Hutu majority to kill everyone in the Tutsi minority. Over the next three months 800,000 Tutsis were murdered in the most unambiguous case of genocide since Hitler's war against the Jews. Philip Gourevitch's haunting work is an anatomy of the killings in Rwanda, a vivid history of the genocide's background, and an unforgettable account of what it means to survive in its aftermath.

About the Author
Philip Gourevitch is a staff writer at The New Yorker and a contributing editor to the Forward. He has reported from Africa, Asia, and Europe for a number of magazines, including Granta, Harper's, and The New York Review of Books. He lives in New York City.

From the Publisher
"A staggeringly good book...Gourevitch's beautiful writing drives you deep into Rwanda, his brilliant reportage tells you everything that can be seen from an event beyond imagining or explaining...He drives you, in fact, right up against the limits of what a book can do." --Tom Engelhardt, Philadelphia Inquirer

"[It is the] sobering voice of witness that Gourevitch has vividly captured in his work." --Wole Soyinka, The New York Times Book Review

"I know of few books, fiction or non-fiction, as compelling as Philip Gourevitch's account of the Rwandan genocide....As a journalist [Gourevitch] has raised the bar on us all." --Sebastian Junger

"The most important book I have read in many years...Gourevitch's book poses the preeminent question of our time: What--if anything--does it mean to be a human being at the end of the 20th century?...He examines [this question] with humility, anger, grief and a remarkable level of both political and moral intelligence." --Susie Linfield, Los Angeles Times

"Thoughtful, beautifully written, and important...we want to pass it along to our friends, and to insist that they read it because the information it contains seems so profoundly essential." --Francine Prose, Elle

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Editorial Reviews

Africa History Books

Genocide History Books

HistoryWiz Africa

HistoryWiz Genocide

HistoryWiz Rwanda

From Publishers Weekly
What courage must it have required to research and write this book? And who will read such a ghastly chronicle? Gourevitch, who reported from Rwanda for the New Yorker, faces these questions up front: "The best reason I have come up with for looking more closely into Rwanda's stories is that ignoring them makes me even more uncomfortable about existence and my place in it." The stories are unrelentingly horrifying and filled with "the idiocy, the waste, the sheer wrongness" of one group of Rwandans (Hutus) methodically exterminating another (Tutsis). With 800,000 people killed in 100 days, Gourevitch found many numbed Rwandans who had lost whole families to the machete.

He discovered a few admirable characters, including hotelier Paul Rusesabagina, who, "armed with nothing but a liquor cabinet, a phone line, an internationally famous address, and his spirit of resistance," managed to save refugees in his Hotel des Milles Collines in Kigali. General Paul Kagame, one of Gourevitch's main sources in the new government, offers another bleak and consistent voice of truth. But failure is everywhere. Gourevitch excoriates the French for supporting the Hutus for essentially racist reasons; the international relief agencies, which he characterizes as largely devoid of moral courage; and the surrounding countries that preyed on the millions of refugees?many fleeing the consequences of their part in the killings. As the Rwandans try to rebuild their lives while awaiting the slow-moving justice system, the careful yet passionate advocacy of reporters like Gourevitch serves to remind both Rwandans and others that genocide occurred in this decade while the world looked on.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal
In 1994, the world was informed of the inexplicable mass killings in Rwanda, in which over 800,000 were killed in 100 days. Gourevitch, a staff writer for The New Yorker, spent over three years putting together an oral history of the mass killing that occurred in this small country. He interviewed the survivors, who told him their horror stories of violence. Most of the killings were done with a machete. Friends killed friends, teachers killed students, and professional workers killed co-workers. The United Nations was slow in reacting to this crisis and refused to classify the incident as genocide. The title of this book comes from a Tutsi pastor's letter to his church president, a Hutu. While this is a powerful book, it sometimes bogs down in the details of Rwandan politics. It is doubtful the average reader will want to pick it up, but the history of this genocide must be told. This book should find itself on the shelves of academic libraries where African history collections are strong.
-?Michael Sawyer, Northwestern Regional Lib., Elkin, NC
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

The New York Times Book Review, Wole Soyinka
A grim book this, and a burden on world conscience. It closes the habitual avenue of escape--anonymity--for collective atrocities.

Village Voice
"...portrays the 1994 Rwanda genocide with the classical restraint of Orwell, balancing tough political explication with hair-raising personal stories.."

The Los Angeles Times Sunday Book Review, Susie Linfield
Philip Gourevitch's account of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda and its aftermath is the most important book I have read in many years. In fact, I am tempted to say it is the only important--or, to be more precise, necessary--book I have read in many years. Gourevitch's book poses the preeminent question of our time, beside which all others must, of necessity, pale: What--if anything--does it mean to be a human being at the end of the 20th century? The author cannot, of course, definitively answer this question, but he examines it with humility, anger, grief, and a remarkable level of both political and moral intelligence.

The Washington Post Book World, Jonathan Randal
His compelling account should be required reading for those probing the inner workings of modern states. But the queasy and the hero-worshipers should abstain.

From Booklist
The West's conventional wisdom blames ancient hatreds--"ethnic" in the former Yugoslavia, "tribal" in central Africa--for a kind and degree of savagery few can comprehend. It is an easy explanation, justifying inaction. But was it really so mindless and simple, New Yorker staff writer Gourevitch wondered? In 1994, Rwanda's Hutus, egged on by government, media, and the ruling class, killed 800,000 in 100 days, mostly members of the Tutsi minority but also Hutus who helped Tutsis rather than murdering them. After the massacre, Gourevitch spent months in a Rwanda struggling to recover from the horror; in Zaire, where some refugee camps trained Hutus for continued genocide; and in other African states whose leaders were convinced, by the international community's fecklessness in Rwanda, to help overthrow Zairean dictator Mobutu Sese Seko. With a new rebellion brewing in Zaire, Gourevitch offers vital historical context. In a world where too many groups seek their enemies' extermination, his conversations with central Africans shed light on the worst and best of which humans are capable. Mary Carroll

Ingram
An unforgettable firsthand account of a people's response to genocide and what it tells us about humanity, this remarkable book chronicles what has happened in Rwanda and neighboring states since 1994. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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