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The Lion, the Fox and the Eagle Paperback – October 9, 2001

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Editorial Reviews

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“In Off’s fluid and measured account, Dallaire emerges as a tragic hero, a symbol of the world’s failure to respond to the second genocide of the 20th century….Off’s opposing role models — the impotent man of conscience and the cynical advocate of moral equivalence — offer insights into how we might do better next time the unthinkable happens. And it will.” —Time (Andrew Purvis)

“Off is a smooth and powerful writer, delivering a mixture of descriptive passages, contextual background and editorial argument which collectively produce a provocative page-turner….Her concise backgrounder and summary of the horrific genocide in Rwanda in 1994 is the best account I have read." —The Globe and Mail (Scott Taylor)

“…the CBC reporter steers by her own conscience and that is to tell the story from the point of view of the powerless.” —Vancouver Sun

“Off deserves praise for painting this appalling picture so vividly.” —The Edmonton Journal

“The Lion the Fox and the Eagle
provides a solid account of the roles three Canadians played on the world stage in two of the bloodiest conflicts at the close of the century.” —The Chronicle-Herald

“It is a powerful book, and Off writes with a meticulous sense for disconcerting details that resonate with ugly truth.” —Calgary Straight

“In her portraits of Dallaire and Mackenzie, Off has written a pair of biographies that bring to mind Suetonius’s lives of Nicias and Alcibiades — the ancient Roman’s portraits of two brilliant but contrary generals, one good, but maligned, the other as famous as he was duplicitous. These are shocking and instructive moral studies of what it can cost a man to be involved…We learn from [this book] that the work of peacekeeping is not derived from some neat and formulaic model that is universally applicable. It cannot be grafted onto a hostile landscape and it requires historical knowledge. It cannot be applied halfheartedly.” —Noah Richler, National Post

“This is an explosive look at what really happened in the failed peacekeeping missions in Sarajevo and Rwanda.” —Ottawa Citizen

From the Inside Flap

Three Canadians ? Lewis MacKenzie, Romeo Dallaire and Louise Arbour ? were at the centre of the two greatest tragedies of the 1990s. Two of them could have stopped the killing. One was asked to bring the perpetrators to justice. In this riveting, original and explosive book, Carol Off explores the failure of peacekeeping missions in Sarajevo and Rwanda, and the international community?s attempt to redeem itself by prosecuting the people responsible for the genocides. Events turned on the action of two Canadian generals: the fox of the title, Lewis MacKenzie, who commanded the UN forces in Bosnia for the first crucial months of the conflict; and the lion, Romeo Dallaire, who developed an interventionary plan that he believed would have prevented the Rwandan genocide but was forced by the UN to stand by while 800,000 people were slaughtered. The eagle is Louise Arbour, a Canadian judge who became Chief Prosecutor for War Crimes in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Canada (October 9, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679311386
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679311386
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,129,056 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By D. Dawson on July 15, 2007
Format: Paperback
Carol Off does a terrific job explaining two of the most complicated tragedies of this lifetime. If you want a concise understanding of the Rwandan and Yugoslavian genocides and wars then this is your book.

It is told from the point of view of the Canadians. It has excellent references.
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By pepe on May 18, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very interesting parallel between two generals: two different kinds of peacekeeping, one focused on morality,the other on formality.The authoress shows a great talent at demonstrating who is the real hero while remaining easy to read despite all
the historical details behind these two genocides.One would have thought that the words "Never again" would prevail after
Nuremberg, but were it not for Louise Arbour's determination those who were responsible for the atrocities would have gone away unpunished.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Having been directly involved in the Bosnian conflict I found the book to be an accurate reflection of the events of the period and a compelling read.
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9 of 17 people found the following review helpful By F. D. Macri on March 29, 2005
Format: Paperback
Since the end of the Cold War, the number of United Nations peacekeeping efforts created to intervene in regional conflicts has increased significantly. Of these, two of the most striking failures were the missions sent to Rwanda and Bosnia. In her book The Lion, The Fox, & The Eagle, Carol Off attempts to identify the reasons why these failures occurred by examining the actions of three prominent Canadians closely associated with those events. The principle actors involved in her exploration are, on the military side, generals Romeo Dallaire and Lewis MacKenzie, with Justice Louise Arbour rounding out the group as Chief Prosecutor for the International War Crimes Tribunal. For those Canadians who may find themselves acting in the role of peacekeeper this book is useful, not necessarily as a guide to conduct, but for revealing the mindset of many of Canada's political elite, and for explaining the purposes they will expect sacrifices to be made.

Off makes it clear that much of the blame for the Rwandan and Bosnian tragedies stem from United Nations inefficiencies and with Kofi Annan personally, but her assessment of the three principle actors identified is intended to reinforce the organization's perceived viability for any potential intervention in future conflicts. Philosophical or ideological considerations compel her to do so, and in the process, she offers a new definition of heroism to gauge the success of those who will be tasked with leading these efforts. Her assessment however, is unconvincing.

It is a collectivist worldview which causes Off to cast Major General Romeo Dallaire in a tragic and heroic light.
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