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Publisher's Summary

A brave, unforgettable first-hand account of the Rwandan genocide by a man almost literally haunted by the dead and by the spectre of his mission's failure. Marking the 25th anniversary of this horrific event, this edition includes a new note from Roméo Dallaire.

Serving in Rwanda in 1993, LGen. Roméo Dallaire and his small peacekeeping force found themselves abandoned by the UN in a vortex of civil war and genocide. With meagre resources to stem the killing, General Dallaire was witness to the murder of 800,000 Rwandans in 100 days, and returned home broken, disillusioned and suicidal. Shake Hands with the Devil is his return to Rwanda: a searing book that is both an eyewitness account of the failure of humanity to stop the genocide, and the story of General Dallaire's own struggle to find a measure of peace, reconciliation and hope.

©2003 Romeo Dallaire (P)2019 Penguin Random House Canada

Critic Reviews

“One of the year’s, if not the decade’s, most important events in Canadian publishing.” (The Vancouver Sun)

“On the enormously important issue of Third World development and the obligation of the Western world to assist the dispossessed, [the book] is a powerful cri de coeur for the powerless.” (Toronto Star)

“A book of astonishing power.... Here was a man who screamed into the void. No one listened, no one cared, no one heard. But he never stopped screaming. He valued every human life. He wept for every human loss. He never gave up.” (Stephen Lewis, The Walrus)

What listeners say about Shake Hands with the Devil

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  • 03-05-20

A fascinating book by a modern hero.

I had always wanted to read Dallaire’s book after having watched the movies Shake Hands with the Devil and Hotel Rwanda, and was delighted to find it on Audible. Dallaire’s story is gripping and at the same time, fatiguing due to the continuous cycle of the human atrocities and bureaucratic nonsense. The difficulties he and the UN Force in Rwanda faced were beyond that which most of us could ever imagine and deal with and yet his commitment to his duty and altruistic big-picture view is admirable. He persisted where lesser beings would have capitulated. Nevertheless, I appreciated his self-criticism, bluntness, His story raises even further my esteem for Dallaire and piece keepers in general. Gen. Dallaire has personally paid a high price for his involvement, as soldiers sometimes do, in the service of humanity and for a people who are of an entirely different nationality, race and culture to his own. I wish Gen. Dallaire a continued purposeful and satisfying life and a joyful retirement- you truly deserve it, General.