A Thousand Hills: Rwanda's Rebirth and the Man Who Dreamed It

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9780470120156: A Thousand Hills: Rwanda's Rebirth and the Man Who Dreamed It
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A Thousand Hills: Rwanda's Rebirth and the Man Who Dreamed It is the story of Paul Kagame, a refugee who, after a generation of exile, found his way home. Learn about President Kagame, who strives to make Rwanda the first middle-income country in Africa, in a single generation. In this adventurous tale, learn about Kagame’s early fascination with Che Guevara and James Bond, his years as an intelligence agent, his training in Cuba and the United States, the way he built his secret rebel army, his bloody rebellion, and his outsized ambitions for Rwanda.

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Amazon Best of the Month, June 2008: Fourteen years after the 1994 genocide that claimed 800,000 lives in 100 days, Rwandans continue the daily work of rebuilding their shattered country. In light of recent reports that one in four people suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder--which Rwandans aptly describe as ihahamuka or "breathless with fear"--how is recovery even possible? In search of answers, foreign correspondent Stephen Kinzer traveled extensively throughout Rwanda where he observed an astonishing economic and political transformation based surprisingly on Asian models, and the implementation of unconventional reconciliation efforts. The author also conducted extensive interviews with Rwanda's enigmatic president, Paul Kagame. The result of Kinzer's quest is A Thousand Hills, a page-turning story of a society desperately trying to regain its breath, and an ambitious and autocratic leader's unrelenting efforts to breathe life into its future. This is essential reading, even if you've read earlier accounts by Canadian general Roméo Dallaire, journalists Phillip Gourevitch and Samantha Power, and the heroic Paul Rusesabagina immortalized in the film Hotel Rwanda. --Lauren Nemroff

From the Inside Flap:

In 1994, the world stood idly by as Rwanda was devastated by the most horrifying genocide since the Holocaust. Now this tiny, land-locked nation stands poised to stun the world again—but in a very different way. Killers and survi-vors have embarked on a breathtaking path toward reconciliation, and Rwanda has become one of the most promising countries in the developing world. How did this happen?

In A Thousand Hills, bestselling author Stephen Kinzer tells the dramatic story of Paul Kagame, whose rebel army stopped the genocide and whose government has turned Rwanda into a new star of Africa. Kagame grew up as a wretched refugee, shaped one of the most audacious covert operations in the history of clandestine warfare, and then emerged as a visionary leader with radical ideas about how poor countries can climb out of their misery. Whether his experiment can succeed is a question that has begun to fascinate people across Africa and beyond.

A Thousand Hills tells Kagame's astonishing story more fully than it has ever been told before. Drawingon extensive interviews with Kagame himself and with people who knew him at every stage of his life, Kinzer recounts one of the great untold stories of modern revolution. He traces Kagame through his years as a bitterly angry student, recounts his early fascination with men of action ranging from Che Guevara to James Bond, and explains how he built a secret revolutionary army in a way no one ever had before. With the dramatic flair that has led the Washington Post to call him "among the best in foreign policy storytelling," Kinzer then traces the three-and-a-half-year war Kagame waged in the Rwandan bush—a war that stopped a genocide, changed the destiny of a nation, and set in motion one of the most exciting social and political experiments now under way anywhere in the world.

Filled with harrowing tales of guerilla warfare, heart-wrenching accounts of the genocide carried out by the government of Rwanda, and inspiring stories of how a devastated nation can reinvent itself, A Thousand Hills is powerful, moving, and deeply compelling.

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