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Accounting for Horror: Post-Genocide Debates in Rwanda Paperback – March 20, 2004

3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"[A] crisply-written, well-researched monograph... It should be mandatory reading for readers interested in Rwanda and genocide studies in general"--Journal of Genocide Research"

This is a fine study: shrewdly conceived, carefully judged, wide-ranging and richly detailed... it is essential reading for scholars of any discipline examining the genocide in Rwanda"--Political Studies Review

"[A] balanced and scholarly account of the social and historical forces that led to the genocide"--Africa Today

"...makes a notable contribution to Rwanda's complex fabric and paves the way to understanding other large-scale human tragedies"--African Studies Quarterly"Outstanding... [a] timely and thoughtful study of the meaning of the Rwandan genocide."--Ethnic and Racial Studies

"... this is a very important book... a superb addition to Rwandan ethnography and historiography"--Journal of Conflict Studies

I think it is going to be a very fine contribution to African Studies. It is well structured, cogently argued, erudite and most of the time well-written -- Rene Lemarchand, author of Burundi: Ethnic Conflict and Genocide - professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Florida. The proposal certainly identifies some of the most critical issues in the discourse about the Rwandan Genocide. -- Carina Tersakian

About the Author

Nigel Eltringham is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Sussex. He worked for three years with a conflict resolution NGO in Rwanda before conducting doctoral research in Rwanda and among the Rwandan Diaspora in Europe. He has extensively published on post-genocide Rwanda.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Pluto Press; First Printing edition (March 20, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0745320007
  • ISBN-13: 978-0745320007
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,466,558 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Ten years ago horrific stories began to emerge from Rwanda. Almost a million people had been brutally murdered in a few short months. Men, women and children had been butchered in the most revolting way in massacres of tens of thousands. The savagery of the genocide appeared to exceed even that of the Nazis. How could this possibly have happened - again? And where was the United Nations? Surely they had been set up after the Second World War precisely to stop this kind of thing ever happening again? The UN, it seemed, had shepherded the victims into so-called `safe' areas, only to abandon them later to their dreadful fate.

Accounting for Horror seeks to `account' for what happened in Rwanda, but it does it in a way that is never simplistic. It confronts head-on the casual enquirer who only wants to know `who are the victims and who are the perpetrators?' Instead it deconstructs such facile questions in a way that is both disturbing and fascinating. In this respect it reminded me very much of Hannah Arendt's Eichmann in Jerusalem.

I bought this book because I wanted to know more about what happened in Rwanda. This book explains it in a way that works on many different levels. It is an illuminating study of one of the darkest chapters in recent human history.
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Extremely dense, inaccessible writing. Need a dictionary every fifth word. My daughter was assigned this for a sociology of genocide course in college. I bought a copy so I could help her over the tough parts. It's all tough parts. I am a reasonably intelligent guy - I read a lot, the NYTimes daily - but repeatedly I was unable to understand, explain, or paraphrase passages.
Why go to the trouble of writing a book when only a handful of subject experts can understand it. Was this written as a doctoral dissertation?
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