In 1994, the world stood idly by as Rwanda was devastated by the most horrifying genocide since the Holocaust. Now this tiny, land-locked nation stands poised to stun the world again—but in a very different way. Killers and survi-vors have embarked on a breathtaking path toward reconciliation, and Rwanda has become one of the most promising countries in the developing world. How did this happen?
In A Thousand Hills, bestselling author Stephen Kinzer tells the dramatic story of Paul Kagame, whose rebel army stopped the genocide and whose government has turned Rwanda into a new star of Africa. Kagame grew up as a wretched refugee, shaped one of the most audacious covert operations in the history of clandestine warfare, and then emerged as a visionary leader with radical ideas about how poor countries can climb out of their misery. Whether his experiment can succeed is a question that has begun to fascinate people across Africa and beyond.
A Thousand Hills tells Kagame's astonishing story more fully than it has ever been told before. Drawingon extensive interviews with Kagame himself and with people who knew him at every stage of his life, Kinzer recounts one of the great untold stories of modern revolution. He traces Kagame through his years as a bitterly angry student, recounts his early fascination with men of action ranging from Che Guevara to James Bond, and explains how he built a secret revolutionary army in a way no one ever had before. With the dramatic flair that has led the Washington Post to call him "among the best in foreign policy storytelling," Kinzer then traces the three-and-a-half-year war Kagame waged in the Rwandan bush—a war that stopped a genocide, changed the destiny of a nation, and set in motion one of the most exciting social and political experiments now under way anywhere in the world.
Filled with harrowing tales of guerilla warfare, heart-wrenching accounts of the genocide carried out by the government of Rwanda, and inspiring stories of how a devastated nation can reinvent itself, A Thousand Hills is powerful, moving, and deeply compelling.
Kinzer (All the Shah's Men) has penned a hagiographic account of Rwandan president Paul Kagame, the Tutsi refugee who organized the Rwandan Military Front in 1994 and helped halt the genocide in Rwanda. Instead of settling scores, Kagame embarked on a program of reconciliation and reconstruction; Kinzer eloquently describes a physical and psychological recovery unmatched in Africa: a Rwanda whose people are "bubbling with a sense of unlimited possibility." Kagame's goal, modeled on the successes of "Asian tigers" like Singapore, aims to transform Rwanda into the continent's first middle-income country in a single generation, eschewing foreign aid in favor of reliance on business-driven development. Kinzer does not conceal the bloody realities behind Kagame's acquisition of power nor does he deny Kagame's "rigorous, absolutist approach to governing." Nevertheless, he is transparently trusting in Kagame's capabilities and intentions, and while his eloquent prose invites optimism, a half-century of experience urges caution. (June)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.