An Ordinary Man

An Ordinary Man

An Autobiography

Book - 2006
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Penguin Putnam
The riveting life story of Paul Rusesabagina-the man whose heroism inspired the film Hotel Rwanda

As his country was being torn apart by violence during the Rwandan genocide of 1994, hotel manager Paul Rusesabagina-the "Oskar Schindler of Africa"-refused to bow to the madness that surrounded him. Confronting killers with a combination of diplomacy, flattery, and deception, he offered shelter to more than twelve thousand members of the Tutsi clan and Hutu moderates, while homicidal mobs raged outside with machetes.

An Ordinary Man explores what the Academy Award-nominated film Hotel Rwanda could not: the inner life of the man who became one of the most prominent public faces of that terrible conflict. Rusesabagina tells for the first time the full story of his life-growing up as the son of a rural farmer, the child of a mixed marriage, his extraordinary career path which led him to become the first Rwandan manager of the Belgian-owned Hotel Milles Collines-all of which contributed to his heroic actions in the face of such horror. He will also bring the reader inside the hotel for those one hundred terrible days depicted in the film, relating the anguish of those who watched as their loved ones were hacked to pieces and the betrayal that he felt as a result of the UN's refusal to help at this time of crisis.

Including never-before-reported details of the Rwandan genocide, An Ordinary Man is sure to become a classic of tolerance literature, joining such books as Thomas Keneally's Schindler's List, Nelson Mandela's Long Walk to Freedom, and Elie Wiesel's Night. Paul Rusesabagina's autobiography is the story of one man who did not let fear get the better of him-a man who found within himself a vast reserve of courage and bravery, and showed the world how one "ordinary man" can become a hero.

Baker & Taylor
A 2005 Civil Rights Freedom Award winner describes how he utilized his position as a hotel manager in violence-stricken Rwanda to offer shelter to more than twelve thousand members of the Tutsi clan and Hutu moderates, an act that inspired an Academy Award-nominated film. 60,000 first printing.

Blackwell North Amer
As his country was being torn apart by violence during the Rwandan genocide of 1994, hotel manager Paul Rusesabagina refused to succumb to the madness that surrounded him. Confronting killers with a combination of diplomacy, flattery, and deception, he risked his life every day to offer shelter in Kigali's Hotel Mille Collines to more than twelve hundred Tutsis and Hutu moderates, while homicidal mobs raged outside.
In An Ordinary Man, Rusesabagina tells the story of his life for the first time. As the son of a Hutu father and a Tutsi mother, he describes what it was like to grow up on a small farm in a country continually plagued by racial and political unrest. We learn of his extraordinary career path, which led him to become the first Rwandan general manger of a Belgian-owned luxury hotel - the Mille Collines - where he formed important relationships with some of the most powerful men in his country. Rusesabagina takes us inside the hotel for those terrible one hundred days in April 1994, an experience that became the inspiration for the film Hotel Rwanda. He gives a vivid account of the anguish that he and his family and friends suffered as they watched their loved ones hacked to pieces, and of the betrayal they felt as a result of the international community's refusal to help. Finally, he explains how he and his family, unable to remain in Rwanda when the crisis was over, eventually settled in Belgium and began rebuilding their lives.

Baker
& Taylor

The author describes how he utilized his position as a hotel manager in violence-stricken Rwanda to offer shelter to more than twelve thousand members of the Tutsi clan and Hutu moderates, an act that inspired an Academy Award-nominated film.

Publisher: New York : Viking, c2006
ISBN: 9780670037520
0670037524
Branch Call Number: 967.5710431092 Ruses
Characteristics: xvi, 207 p. : maps
Additional Contributors: Zoellner, Tom

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r
ryner
Jul 18, 2017

In 1994, the African country of Rwanda saw a brutal, bloody genocide as the majority Hutu population incited fear and violence all across the country, resulting in the murder of a staggering 800,000 of the Tutsi minority. Paul Rusesabagina, a Hutu hotel manager in the capital city of Kigali aghast at what he was witnessing around him and risking his own life, sheltered more than 1,000 of the persecuted inside his hotel.

I'm always curious, when reading an autobiography that is co-written, about just how much of the writing is genuinely that of the individual in question, and how much has been "tidied up" by the more experienced author. In this case the prose and turns of phrase were distinct enough that I feel optimistic that the integrity of Rusesabagina's true voice has been preserved. How awe-inspiringly brave Paul Rusesabagina was amid such horrifying circumstances, and yet how fortunate he was to be in the unique position to assist in the manner he did. There is a lot of food for thought in this slim volume, not least the embarrassing level of inaction and seeming indifference by the UN and United States in response.

w
writermala
Jul 17, 2014

The title of this book may be "An ordinary man," but Paul Rusesabagina played an extraordinary role in 1994 when, like Schindler during the holocaust, he saved the lives of over a 1,000 Rwandans from sure death in the genocide in that country.
Paul stood up to the murderers bravely, called upon past favors, and in general did everything he could to not let a single life be lost amongst those who took shelter at the hotel in Kigali where he was the manager.
A poignant book which explains the dynamics of a genocide and the forces that caused it. He also bravely points fingers at where the blame lay in not preventing the death of 800,000 people in 100 days.

k
kdsheat
Aug 12, 2012

Once again this is a great book that shows how an ordinary man can fight back against the forces of evil-a must read for all who have seen Hotel Rwanda

s
Shihtzulover
Oct 11, 2006

Paul Rusesabagina the son of a Hutu father and a Tusti mother grew up in a rural village in Rwanda. In 1994 during the genocide, mass murder of the Tusti people, Paul was a general manager of a Belgian owned hotel in one of Rwanda's large cities.
He saw his friends and neighbors turn into murderers before his very eyes and decided that he had to use the hotel to save as many Tusti and Hutu moderates as he could from being slaughtered.
He managed to save over 1200 people using his fantastic persuasive speaking skills, cases of wine and beer, and favors owed to him by powerful men.

This man was extrordinary. His story of the genocide while horrifying at times is gripping.

His story inspired the movie Hotel Rwanda.

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