An Ordinary Man

An Ordinary Man : The True Story Behind 'Hotel Rwanda'

4.16 (4,691 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Confronting killers with a combination of diplomacy, flattery, and deception, Paul Rusesabagina managed to shelter more than 1,200 Tutsis and moderate Hutus while homicidal mobs raged outside with machetes during the Rwandan genocide. His autobiography explores the inner life of the man in a way the film could not. Rusesabagina discusses the racial complexity within his own life - he is a Hutu married to a Tutsi - and his complete estrangement from the madness that surrounded him during the genocide. The book takes the reader inside the hotel during those 100 days, relates the anguish of those who saw loved ones hacked to pieces, and describes Rusesabagina's ambivalence at pouring the Scotch and lighting the cigars of killers in the Swimming Pool bar, even as he hid as many refugees as possible inside the guest rooms upstairs. Never-before-reported elements of the Rwandan genocide will be disclosed in this book, such as the lack of interest of the international community and disgraceful behavior of some of the UN peacekeeping troops, who purchased the cars of the Tutsis who had taken shelter inside the hotel. An Ordinary Man draws parallels between what happened in Rwanda with other genocides throughout history and will ask the question: What causes an entire nation to go insane? It also offers an inside look at the problem of genocide and the responsibilities of ordinary people caught up in extraordinary events. It concludes with an exploration of the tremendous power of words to sow hatred, but also to bring life and hope.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 153 x 234mm | 435g
  • Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Export ed
  • maps
  • 0747584443
  • 9780747584445

About Paul Rusesabagina

Paul Rusesabagina, 50, is the former general manager of the Mille Collines Hotel in Kigali, Rwanda. He grew up on a farm in the town of Murama about 50 miles south of the capital. He was educated at the Faculty of Theology in Cameroon and studied hotel management at Kenya Utalii College in Nairobi. In 1984, Rusesabagina became assistant general manager of the Belgian-owned Mille Collines. In November 1992, he was promoted to general manager of the nearby Diplomat Hotel. Threatened with harm for his role in shielding 1,268 Tutsis and moderate Hutu from near-certain death during the Rwandan genocide, he sought asylum in Belgium and found work driving a taxicab. Rusesabagina now owns a trucking company operating in Zambia and lives with his wife Tatiana and their four children in a suburb of Brussels. Tom Zoellner, 36, is an award-winning newspaper and magazine journalist. He has been a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle, The Arizona Republic and the Savannah Morning News. He lives in New York.show more

Rating details

4,691 ratings
4.16 out of 5 stars
5 45% (2,124)
4 35% (1,629)
3 14% (662)
2 3% (161)
1 2% (115)
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