Season of Blood: A Rwandan Journey

Fergal Keane, Author Viking Books $21.95 (216p) ISBN 978-0-670-86205-4
Winner of Britain's Orwell Prize for best political book of 1995, this searing, impassioned eyewitness account of the genocide of Rwanda's Tutsi minority by Hutu extremists dispels a number of media-sustained myths surrounding the slaughter in 1994 of a million people. BBC reporter and documentary filmmaker Keane saw absolutely no evidence to support the widely held belief that the Tutsis--who once comprised Rwanda's ruling class, abetted by German and Belgian colonialists--are lighter-skinned than Hutus. Contrary to the view that mutual hatred between tribes spontaneously erupted into irrational violence, he demonstrates that the killings were planned well in advance by a clique close to Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana. Bitterly resentful of the prospect of sharing power with the Tutsis, this clique created its own civilian militia and mounted a virulent propaganda campaign scapegoating Tutsis. The principal architects of the genocide found a haven in Zaire and Tanzania. Blaming the U.S., the European Community and the U.N. for failing to halt mass murder, Keane calls on the international community to assist Rwanda's new government, formed after the death of Habyarimana in a plane crash in April 1994. (July)
Reviewed on: 09/02/1996
Release date: 09/01/1996
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Paperback - 224 pages - 978-0-14-024760-2
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