- Used Books
- Staff Picks
- Gifts & Gift Cards
- Sell Books
- Stores & Events
- Let's Talk Books
Special Offers see all
More at Powell's
Recently Viewed clear list
Ships in 1 to 3 days
You Will See Fire: A Search for Justice in Kenyaby Christopher Goffard
Synopses & Reviews
Whether gunning down a warthog, raising the beams he'd hewn himself for a new church, or standing up for landless refugees and abused girls, Father John Kaiser was a figure larger than life. He was fierce in his commitments, devoted to the poor and displaced, and fearless--what some would call reckless--in the pursuit of justice. For this he was beloved by his parishioners, seen as a loose cannon by his superiors in the church, and despised by Kenya's strongmen under the tyrannical leadership of Daniel arap Moi. When Kaiser was discovered dead on a remote roadside in the bush, the FBI ruled it a suicide. Kenyans were sure he'd been murdered.
In a new Kenya, post-Moi, it would fall to Charles Mbuthi Gathenji, a prominent dissident and the son of a man himself murdered for his beliefs, to find out what really happened to Father John Kaiser.
"With the support of extensive government documents, interviews, and candid photos, Goffard, a writer for the Los Angeles Times, examines the life and death of a true Roman Catholic warrior priest, Father John Kaiser, an advocate of the poor and abused Kenyans in the bush. Collecting facts of the brutality of the tyrant Daniel Arap Moi's henchmen in journals and affidavits, Kaiser, a missionary labeled uncontrollable by his church superiors, boldly confronted the ruthless rule of a local strongman on his own turf and testified before a commission to expose the atrocities against the townspeople. Goffard's eye for detail and political complexity lends authenticity to the rebel priest's long commitment to the Kenyans, fighting for justice and stability since his early days in the country in the 1960s, and leading to his execution style slaying on a dirt road in 2000. After an FBI investigation concluded Kaiser had committed suicide (with a bullet shot to the back of his head), the author uncovers a later ruling based on evidence neglected in the earlier hearing. Startling revelations, government miscues, and one brave man's crusade to seek the truth make this political mystery exceptional and informative reading. 8 pages of photos." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Book News Annotation:
Goffard writes for the Los Angeles Times and acknowledges his debt to the editors there and to colleagues. His subject is John Kaiser, an American missionary who became prominent as an outspoken critic of Kenyan president Daniel arap Moi. Kaiser was ultimately found dead, and the question remains whether it was a suicide or homicide. The author bases this narrative on roughly 100 interviews conducted in the US and Kenya as well as several hundred letters and other writings by John Kaiser, Kenyan police reports and transcripts of legal proceedings, and documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. Written almost like a novel, this account sustains credibility by virtue of thorough research and notes, references, and an index. Annotation ©2012 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
A nonfiction mystery dwelling on timeless themes: an individual's stand against corruption, the complexity of the human heart.
About the Author
Christopher Goffard writes for the Los Angeles Times and lives in Southern California.
What Our Readers Are Saying
History and Social Science » Africa » Kenya