Philip Gourevitch, We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families; Stories From Rwanda (New York: Picador, 1998)
As I write, the world just commemorated the tenth anniversary of the Rwandan genocide. In the span of about 100 days in 1994, more than 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus were slaughtered by extremist Hutu genocidaires, most of whom were average, everyday people and most of them armed with little more than clubs and machetes. Keep in mind that Rwanda was only a country of 7.5 million people, so ten percent of their population was murdered. “The dead of Rwanda accumulated at nearly three times the rate of Jewish dead during the Holocaust. It was the most efficient mass killing since the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki” (p. 3). Gourevitch, a staff writer for the New Yorker magazine, spent the better part of three years on the ground in Rwanda (1995–1998) to research this history. The book has earned a wide readership as one of the best on the subject and has won numerous critical awards.