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A Time for Machetes: The Rwandan Genocide - The Killers Speak Paperback – 2008

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Serpent's Tail (2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1852429887
  • ISBN-13: 978-1852429881
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.7 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,262,753 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Mark Stokle on April 22, 2012
Format: Paperback
Jean Hatzfeld's "A Time for Machetes", along with its sequel "Into the Quick of Life", are in my opinion the two best works discussing the Rwandan genocide in 1994.

What makes these two books so exceptional is that they convey the violence in Rwanda from the viewpoints of both the criminals and the victims. "A Time for Machetes" is based on interviews with gang-members of Hutu death-squads who perpetrated most of the killings of Tutsis during the genocide. Hatzfeld interviewed these people in prison while they were awaiting trial for their crimes. "Into the Quick of Life" explores the other side and relates the experiences of fourteen Tutsi survivors. Their testimonies were passed on to the UN International Criminal Tribunal in Rwanda as documentary evidence. Apart from a brief two or three page introduction about the genocide, neither of the two books contain any editorial comment from the author. Instead, Hatzfeld simply chooses to let each person unfold their story in turn one after the other, knowing that these are powerful enough to speak for themselves.

The reader will learn how village communities where Hutus and Tutsis had peacefully coexisted for years were suddenly torn asunder by a violent frenzy of murder. People whose families had been friends for generations denounced one another on the slightest pretext: jealousy, ambition, material greed, long-standing rows. Any excuse was good to rid oneself of cumbersome rivals and achieve one's aims. The distress of the Tutsi women is especially poignant considering that rape followed by execution was a systematic feature of the genocide. What is also clear is that these mass-killings were meticulously planned, exploiting cross-cultural animosities dating back to colonial times.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great story, great deal. But it was one of my first purchases so I didn't was awared for the quality of the material - I mean the paper of the publication. It is too thin and won't last for much handling as you have to do in a research...
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