©2007 Brian Steidle and Gretchen Steidle Wallace; (P)2007 Blackstone Audio Inc.
"Steidle's personal and fluent account effectively channels an idealistic, adventuresome young man's growing frustration and horror in the face of ongoing crimes against humanity and international complacency." (Publishers Weekly)
"The Devil Came on Horseback grabs the reader from page one, then takes us on a journey of Conradian intensity through a circle of hell, its horrors mitigated by moments of humanity....In every sense, the devil is indeed in the details." (Karl E. Meyer, Editor, World Policy Journal)
"Brian Steidle's vivid, compelling account of the on-going genocide in Darfur bears stark witness to the worst humanitarian crisis facing the world today....If you are at all concerned about your fellow man, The Devil Came on Horseback is not only a haunting must read; it is a call to action." (David Freed, Los Angeles Times)
It's amazing to learn about what's going on in other places, and it's wonderful to learn that there are people like the author who put their lives asaide to help others in need.
This book was very educational. Although it made me very sad and angry, I am glad that I now have a better understanding of the genocide taking place in and around Darfur. The bureaucracy of the UN does not help the situation. It is frustrating to hear that the UN observers like the author can not intervene. My only suggestion to the author is that more recommendations need to be made. From someone who was so close to the situation for so long, there were not enough suggestions on how to make the situation better.
My recommendation- Listen to the fabulous book "An Ordinary Man" by Paul Rusesabagina and then listen to this amazing account on genecide and ask yourself one question: what does the UN really do? As Americans with all of our big, fat luxurious lives able to dissent to our Government without fear of being killed in the middle of the night, are you really enjoying your fresh glass of water? I hope so. This is a must read for all of those who claim to care but only play lip service to civil rights and liberties AND for the rest of us who really want to make a difference. Thank-you Brian and Gretchen, for having the courage to write this book! It is life affirming.
I am still reading through it and i will update this when I finish.
The narration of incidents might be correct. I KNOW for sure that at least some of the atrocities he described has really happened. However, I disagree with most of his comments and explanations of the same incidents.
For example when he is talking about the "wealthy" army generals he forgets that we are talking about a country whose budget is far less than Manchester United's.
He then talks about the Islamist arabic northern backed government, while everyone in the country is oppressed by that government. Including the Arabs of the North.
Although I can't question the accuracy of the events, I think the writer didn't understand the Sudanese society/culture at all.
There are some gripping details in "The Devil Came On Horseback" as well as some touching scenes of humanity. As you might imagine, there are lots and lots of atrocities.
Brian Steidle is undoubtedly a very brave man, and by helping to bring the Darfur crisis to light in America, his actions are certainly commendable. Nonetheless, he still manages to come off as preachy. In coversations with his sister (and co-author), the two siblings make impassioned statements to one another, rather than talk. "Why won't the world listen?"
There is a lot to value in this book, not least that Steidle compiled the information at some risk to himself. I think this narrative would have been better presented as a long magazine article rather than a book.
This is a wonderful book because it creates/increases your awareness about the conflict in Darfur. The images in the book are haunting. The book leaves you with the feelings of helplessness and hopelessness because it only reports facts and offers no solution.
Jeff Cummings delivers the story exceptionally well. He first sounds young and naive, then as time goes on, he conveys frustration, sadness, disbelieve and revulsion at all appropriate time.
I recommend this book because we all need to be aware of the genocide in Darfur. I had very little awareness of this country and its situation prior to this book. Its sad, horrifying and sometimes unbelievable, but, its true from start to finish. The narrator has captured the true horror of it all.
This should be required reading for all American High School students in hopes that they will be better informed of the happenings in the world and less self absorbed as most Americans are today. This book is a real eye opener and causes great frustration when we see that still, today, we have not helped in Darfur. We have been too busy interfering in Iraq where we were not invited while the people in Darfur are begging for help. But then.....after all, they have no oil and are black.
"Honest, brutal, brave and utterly compelling"
One of the books everyone should read, particularly if you've lived your life in a first world country. This is not 'just another story about Africans killing Africans', although thousands upon thousands of Africans die in the course of its telling. It is not a fly-studded, poverty-stricken tear-jerker, although you will hear about poor people and it will make you cry. It's about what's really going on in Darfur, and indeed in so many places in Africa, how much the world could do to help and how little it does do, the ubiquity of red tape, the gagging of journalists and the suffering of so many individuals that it beggars belief. Much of the western world still perceives Africans as numerous, expendable and unimportant. As an African, I object of course, and yet, because I'm an African I understand that mentality. The man who wrote this harrowing and touching account is an American who also understands. His ability to communicate the view of the overfed outsider and the daily trauma of what he was charged with observing, brings together a stunning empathy of vision and real humanity.
A respectful, compassionate, accurate and readable account of how so many people live in terrible fear in countries that seek only their racial extermination and deepest humiliation on every level, this is not a pretty book. It's a real one. Read it if you want to know the truth. Do not read it if you would prefer to believe that Africa does not matter. After this book, you'll never think that again.
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