Shake Hands With the Devil is the extraordinarily honest and legendary book by Lieutenant-General Roméo Dallaire of the Canadian Forces, also a legend himself, published in 2004.
“It was one of the fastest, most efficient, most evident genocides of modern history. And it could have been avoided. But the United States and France were content to sit back and watch as Hutu extremists slaughtered 800,000 Rwandans in ethnic pogroms in 1994. Roméo Dallaire, then a brigadier general in the Canadian Forces, was the commander of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Rwanda and witnessed first-hand the ’unfolding apocalypse,’ as he calls it in his stunning book. The gruesome experience and his futile attempts to convince the international community to intervene left him with emotional scars that still haven’t healed. He tried to commit suicide, was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, got a medical release from the military, and has had extensive therapy.”
Once again, I recommend you read it without trying to remember all the names or whatever as if you will be tested. Read it to get a sense of the man who lives to tell the tale. Digging deep into shattering memories, General Dallaire has written a powerful story of betrayal, naïveté, racism and international politics. His message is simple: “Never again.”