Author(s): Paul Rusesabagina
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 will explore the inner life of the man in a way the film could not. Rusesabagina will discuss 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 will bring the reader inside the hotel during those 100 days, relate the anguish of those who saw loved ones hacked to pieces, and describe Rusesabagina's ambivalence at pouring the Scotch and lighting the cigars of killers in the Swimming Pool bar, even as he was trying to cram 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 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 will draw 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 will also offer an inside look at the problem of genocide and the responsibilities of ordinary people caught up in extraordinary events. It concludes with a exploration of the tremendous power of words to sow hatred, but also to bring life and hope.
First published 2006.
2006. A trade paperback copy in very good condition.
An Ordinary Man is set to become a classic of tolerance literature, like Thomas Keneally's Schindler's List and Nelson Mandella's The Long Walk to Freedom. Author tour at time of publication will include appearances in London and at the Hay Festival
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.