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1 Beaverton World History- Africa

The Teeth May Smile But the Heart Does Not Forget: Murder and Memory in Uganda

by

The Teeth May Smile But the Heart Does Not Forget: Murder and Memory in Uganda Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

One of Kirkus Reviews' Best Books of 2009

The people of Uganda have long struggled to bury the worst of their history, but after the violent reign of Idi Amin, reminders were never far from view. In 2000, lawyer Duncan Laki came across a clue to his father's 1972 disappearance, and the ensuing search ultimately led him to a shallow grave — and then to three old soldiers, including Amin's military chief of staff. Laki's discovery resulted in a trial that, in the end, offered all Ugandans the reckoning they had long been denied. A detective story, a tale of fathers and sons, and a political history, this is above all an illumination of the wounded societies of modern Africa and an exploration of how — and whether — the past can ever be lain to rest.

Andrew Rice has written about Africa for The New York Times Magazine, The New Republic, and The Economist, among other publications. His article "The Book of Wilson," published in The Paris Review, received a Pushcart Prize. He spent several years in Uganda as a fellow of the Institute of Current World Affairs and currently lives in Brooklyn.

From Rwanda to Sierra Leone, African countries recovering from tyranny and war are facing an impossible dilemma: to overlook past atrocities for the sake of peace or to seek catharsis through tribunals and truth commissions. Uganda chose the path of forgetting: after Idi Amins reign was overthrown, the new government opted for amnesty for his henchmen rather than prolonged conflict.

Ugandans tried to bury their history, but reminders of the truth were never far from view. A stray clue to the 1972 disappearance of Eliphaz Laki led his son to a shallow grave—and then to three executioners, among them Amins chief of staff. Lakis discovery resulted in a trial that gave voice to a nations past: as lawyers argued, tribes clashed, and Laki pressed for justice, the trial offered Ugandans a promise of the reckoning they had been so long denied.

For four years, Andrew Rice followed the trial, crossing Uganda to investigate Amins legacy and the limits of reconciliation. At once a mystery, a historical accounting, and a portrait of modern Africa, The Teeth May Smile But the Heart Does Not Forget explores how—and whether—the past can be laid to rest.

"Tyrant, killer, buffoon: Idi Amin was unforgettable. But his victims have largely been forgotten. Andrew Rice rescues one mans memory, gives him a face and a voice and lets him speak for a multitude of the dead. This is reporting at its best—as gripping as any murder mystery, but far more important, because every painful word is true."—Robert Guest, former Africa editor of The Economist and author of The Shackled Continent
"Tyrant, killer, buffoon: Idi Amin was unforgettable. But his victims have largely been forgotten. Andrew Rice rescues one mans memory, gives him a face and a voice and lets him speak for a multitude of the dead. This is reporting at its best—as gripping as any murder mystery, but far more important, because every painful word is true."—Robert Guest, former Africa editor of The Economist and author of The Shackled Continent
 
"Andrew Rice has done something remarkable: he has written a passionate, sophisticated, elegant book about modern African history. Even more extraordinary, he has used Uganda to explore fundamental truths about memory and justice, and thus turned an African story into a universal one."—Peter Beinart, author of The Good Fight 
 
"Few journalists succeed in peering as deeply into a nations soul as Andrew Rice has done with this remarkable exploration of memory, war and love in Uganda. This is more than a book about Africa, it is a book that holds up a mirror to the human soul."—Matthew Green, author of The Wizard of the Nile
 
"A deeply moving book, telling a whole nations story through one mans struggle for justice."—Giles Foden, author of The Last King of Scotland

"On Sept. 22, 1972, a dusty car carrying three soldiers skidded to a stop outside a county headquarters in western Uganda. They apprehended the county chief, Eliphaz Laki, and told him he was wanted at the local army barracks for questioning. Then they drove him out of town, stopped at a cattle ranch, walked him into the bush, shot him in the back of the neck and left. Nearly three decades later, Eliphaz Laki's son Duncan pushed a shovel into the ground under a short oruyenje bush. The metal met something hard—a badly decomposed clump of human bones. Duncan had found his father. Pushcart Prize-winning journalist Andrew Rice, who lived in Uganda, tells the story of the son's search for his father—and for justice—in the compelling <The Teeth May Smile but the Heart Does Not Forget. This book is much larger than a family tragedy. Through the experiences of the Lakis under the murderous dictatorship of Idi Amin, Rice takes on the age-old dilemmas of hatred, divisiveness, revenge, reconciliation and the corruption of power . . . During the trial of Laki's killers, conducted from Nov. 20, 2002, until Sept. 25 the following year, some decried opening up old wounds, while others welcomed the opportunity to drill for the truth. More than a few argued that the three soldiers were simply following orders, that because Eliphaz Laki had ties to an anti-Amin faction, his killing was justified. The trial stirred up repressed, but still very much alive, enmities—between Muslim and Christian, between northern Ugandans and southern Ugandans, between those who still held Idi Amin in esteem and those who despised him. 'Justice,' writes Rice, 'entered the courtroom as a pristine ideal; it would leave scuffed, muddled, and altogether Ugandan.' Like Francisco Goldman's engaging 2007 book, The Art of Political Murder, which explored the assassination of Guatemalan Bishop Juan Gerardi, the verdict mattered less than the process. In all its churning messiness, the trial of Laki's killers forced people not to turn their eyes away."—Donna Marchetti, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)

"From longtime African affairs journalist Rice, a provocative story of war, death and the quest for justice in the wake of Idi Amin's ruinous reign in Uganda. . . . As a ruler, having engineered a coup against his left-leaning predecessor and passed muster as a Cold War ally of the Western powers, he was seen as someone who could be reasoned with. Not so. Amin's lieutenants busily eliminated servants of the former administration and others suspected of being disloyal to the regime, which would become internationally infamous for its role in the hijacking of an Israeli airliner. One victim of the bloodletting was a county chief named Eliphaz Laki, who disappeared in 1972. In 1979, Amin's army, a haphazard lot of brigands, disintegrated after an ill-advised invasion of neighboring Tanzania. Amin fled into Saudi Arabian exile, after which many Ugandans took the view that it might be just as well to forget the past. Yet in 1986 a new leader came to power, Yoweri Museveni, and one of his first official acts was to establish a commission of inquiry about the crimes of the Amin regime, telling Ugandans that 'they could begin to mend their nation just by speaking the truth.' Helped by Laki's son, investigators determined that the murderers included Amin's chief of staff, as well as two soldiers, all of whom were brought to trial. Rice observes that, whereas most murder trials in Uganda's legal system took only a week or so to be settled, that of the senior official took more than a year, complicated by both the quality of the evidence and, it seems, a persistent refusal to fully engage the past. Reconciliation is an increasingly important process in nations once torn by fratricide. Rice's important book serves as an urgent case study, complete with a surprising outcome."Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Journalist Rice . . . spent five years writing this account of a son's efforts to discover the truth about and seek justice for the 1972 murder of his father . . . His son eventually discovered his grave and tracked down his three executioners, who were brought to trial. Rice, who attended the trial, here considers the limits of reconciliation—an important question in today's world. The book reads as easily as mystery fiction, but Rice manages to weave in the complex history and even more serpentine politics of Amin's Uganda. He conducted more than 100 interviews and supports his text with 40 pages of notes."—Joel Neuberg, Library Journal

"Treating the Lakis' story as a microcosm of Uganda's own, the author weaves together the family's search for truth and justice with Uganda's history. From its intimate portrait of Eliphaz's grieving family to the wide-angle perspectives of the tumultuous post-independence years as Ugandans struggled to knit together a nation from the ethnically, linguistically and religiously diverse peoples within their colonial borders, the book recasts a familiar history in an entirely new light."Publishers Weekly

Synopsis:

One of Kirkus Reviews' Best Books of 2009

The people of Uganda have long struggled to bury the worst of their history, but after the violent reign of Idi Amin, reminders were never far from view. In 2000, lawyer Duncan Laki came across a clue to his father's 1972 disappearance, and the ensuing search ultimately led him to a shallow grave — and then to three old soldiers, including Amin's military chief of staff. Laki's discovery resulted in a trial that, in the end, offered all Ugandans the reckoning they had long been denied. A detective story, a tale of fathers and sons, and a political history, this is above all an illumination of the wounded societies of modern Africa and an exploration of how — and whether — the past can ever be lain to rest.

Andrew Rice has written about Africa for The New York Times Magazine, The New Republic, and The Economist, among other publications. His article The Book of Wilson, published in The Paris Review, received a Pushcart Prize. He spent several years in Uganda as a fellow of the Institute of Current World Affairs and currently lives in Brooklyn.

From Rwanda to Sierra Leone, African countries recovering from tyranny and war are facing an impossible dilemma: to overlook past atrocities for the sake of peace or to seek catharsis through tribunals and truth commissions. Uganda chose the path of forgetting: after Idi Amin's reign was overthrown, the new government opted for amnesty for his henchmen rather than prolonged conflict.

Ugandans tried to bury their history, but reminders of the truth were never far from view. A stray clue to the 1972 disappearance of Eliphaz Laki led his son to a shallow grave--and then to three executioners, among them Amin's chief of staff. Laki's discovery resulted in a trial that gave voice to a nation's past: as lawyers argued, tribes clashed, and Laki pressed for justice, the trial offered Ugandans a promise of the reckoning they had been so long denied.

For four years, Andrew Rice followed the trial, crossing Uganda to investigate Amin's legacy and the limits of reconciliation. At once a mystery, a historical accounting, and a portrait of modern Africa, The Teeth May Smile But the Heart Does Not Forget explores how--and whether--the past can be laid to rest. At its core, The Teeth May Smile is a keenly reported private detective story and police procedural about a son's search for justice many years after his father's betrayal and disappearance at the hands of Amin's military henchmen. At the same time, Rice's book is an ably presented drama about the workings of a Ugandan courthouse. It is also an efficient primer on Uganda's tumultuous history and a political precis of a succession of regimes, culminating with that of the current president, the increasingly authoritarian Yoweri Museveni. And on the broadest level, it is a vivid prism for examining some of the largest themes in Africa's history . . . Finally, The Teeth May Smile is a thoughtful meditation on the nature of memory, on forgiveness and reconciliation.--Howard W. French, associate professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, The New York Times Book Review Once in a while . . . the experience of much of the continent is crystallized in the story of a single country, and when that story is told with a combination of attentiveness to historical background and genuine care for the lives of real people, the small world of serious Africa books for nonspecialists becomes enriched. With The Teeth May Smile but the Heart Does Not Forget: Murder and Memory in Uganda, Andrew Rice has written just such a book . . . At its core, The Teeth May Smile is a keenly reported private detective story and police procedural about a son's search for justice many years after his father's betrayal and disappearance at the hands of Amin's military henchmen. At the same time, Rice's book is an ably presented drama about the workings of a Ugandan courthouse. It is also an efficient primer on Uganda's tumultuous history and a political precis of a succession of regimes, culminating with that of the current president, the increasingly authoritarian Yoweri Museveni. And on the broadest level, it is a vivid prism for examining some of the largest themes in Africa's history . . . Finally, The Teeth May Smile is a thoughtful meditation on the nature of memory, on forgiveness and reconciliation.--Howard W. French, associate professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, The New York Times Book Review

On Sept. 22, 1972, a dusty car carrying three soldiers skidded to a stop outside a county headquarters in western Uganda. They apprehended the county chief, Eliphaz Laki, and told him he was wanted at the local army barracks for questioning. Then they drove him out of town, stopped at a cattle ranch, walked him into the bush, shot him in the back of the neck and left. Nearly three decades later, Eliphaz Laki's son Duncan pushed a shovel into the ground under a short oruyenje bush. The metal met something hard--a badly decomposed clump of human bones. Duncan had found his father. Pushcart Prize-winning journalist Andrew Rice, who lived in Uganda, tells the story of the son's search for his father--and for justice--in the compelling The Teeth May Smile but the Heart Does Not Forget. This book is much larger than a family tragedy. Through the experiences of the Lakis under the murderous dictatorship of Idi Amin, Rice takes on the age-old dilemmas of hatred, divisiveness, revenge, reconciliation and the corruption of power.--Karen Long, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)

The Teeth May Smile but the Heart Does Not Forget is an ambitious work of narrative journalism, the story of one man's quest for the truth about the murder of his father, who was killed during the brutal reign of dictator Idi Amin. But Rice's debut may well do for Uganda what Philip Gourevitch did for Rwanda, or Adam Hochschild

Synopsis:

One of Kirkus Reviews' Best Books of 2009

The people of Uganda have long struggled to bury the worst of their history, but after the violent reign of Idi Amin, reminders were never far from view. In 2000, lawyer Duncan Laki came across a clue to his father's 1972 disappearance, and the ensuing search ultimately led him to a shallow grave — and then to three old soldiers, including Amin's military chief of staff. Laki's discovery resulted in a trial that, in the end, offered all Ugandans the reckoning they had long been denied. A detective story, a tale of fathers and sons, and a political history, this is above all an illumination of the wounded societies of modern Africa and an exploration of how — and whether — the past can ever be lain to rest.

About the Author

Andrew Rice has written about Africa for The New York Times Magazine, The New Republic, and The Economist, among other publications. His article "The Book of Wilson," published in The Paris Review, received a Pushcart Prize. He spent several years in Uganda as a fellow of the Institute of Current World Affairs and currently lives in Brooklyn.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780312429737
Author:
Rice, Andrew
Publisher:
Picador USA
Subject:
Africa, east
Subject:
Africa, central
Subject:
Murder - General
Subject:
Modern - 20th Century
Subject:
World History-General
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20100631
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Includes 34 black-and-white photographs
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.50 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Africa » Uganda
History and Social Science » Crime » True Crime
History and Social Science » World History » Africa
History and Social Science » World History » General

The Teeth May Smile But the Heart Does Not Forget: Murder and Memory in Uganda Used Trade Paper
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Product details 384 pages Picador USA - English 9780312429737 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , One of Kirkus Reviews' Best Books of 2009

The people of Uganda have long struggled to bury the worst of their history, but after the violent reign of Idi Amin, reminders were never far from view. In 2000, lawyer Duncan Laki came across a clue to his father's 1972 disappearance, and the ensuing search ultimately led him to a shallow grave — and then to three old soldiers, including Amin's military chief of staff. Laki's discovery resulted in a trial that, in the end, offered all Ugandans the reckoning they had long been denied. A detective story, a tale of fathers and sons, and a political history, this is above all an illumination of the wounded societies of modern Africa and an exploration of how — and whether — the past can ever be lain to rest.

Andrew Rice has written about Africa for The New York Times Magazine, The New Republic, and The Economist, among other publications. His article The Book of Wilson, published in The Paris Review, received a Pushcart Prize. He spent several years in Uganda as a fellow of the Institute of Current World Affairs and currently lives in Brooklyn.

From Rwanda to Sierra Leone, African countries recovering from tyranny and war are facing an impossible dilemma: to overlook past atrocities for the sake of peace or to seek catharsis through tribunals and truth commissions. Uganda chose the path of forgetting: after Idi Amin's reign was overthrown, the new government opted for amnesty for his henchmen rather than prolonged conflict.

Ugandans tried to bury their history, but reminders of the truth were never far from view. A stray clue to the 1972 disappearance of Eliphaz Laki led his son to a shallow grave--and then to three executioners, among them Amin's chief of staff. Laki's discovery resulted in a trial that gave voice to a nation's past: as lawyers argued, tribes clashed, and Laki pressed for justice, the trial offered Ugandans a promise of the reckoning they had been so long denied.

For four years, Andrew Rice followed the trial, crossing Uganda to investigate Amin's legacy and the limits of reconciliation. At once a mystery, a historical accounting, and a portrait of modern Africa, The Teeth May Smile But the Heart Does Not Forget explores how--and whether--the past can be laid to rest. At its core, The Teeth May Smile is a keenly reported private detective story and police procedural about a son's search for justice many years after his father's betrayal and disappearance at the hands of Amin's military henchmen. At the same time, Rice's book is an ably presented drama about the workings of a Ugandan courthouse. It is also an efficient primer on Uganda's tumultuous history and a political precis of a succession of regimes, culminating with that of the current president, the increasingly authoritarian Yoweri Museveni. And on the broadest level, it is a vivid prism for examining some of the largest themes in Africa's history . . . Finally, The Teeth May Smile is a thoughtful meditation on the nature of memory, on forgiveness and reconciliation.--Howard W. French, associate professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, The New York Times Book Review Once in a while . . . the experience of much of the continent is crystallized in the story of a single country, and when that story is told with a combination of attentiveness to historical background and genuine care for the lives of real people, the small world of serious Africa books for nonspecialists becomes enriched. With The Teeth May Smile but the Heart Does Not Forget: Murder and Memory in Uganda, Andrew Rice has written just such a book . . . At its core, The Teeth May Smile is a keenly reported private detective story and police procedural about a son's search for justice many years after his father's betrayal and disappearance at the hands of Amin's military henchmen. At the same time, Rice's book is an ably presented drama about the workings of a Ugandan courthouse. It is also an efficient primer on Uganda's tumultuous history and a political precis of a succession of regimes, culminating with that of the current president, the increasingly authoritarian Yoweri Museveni. And on the broadest level, it is a vivid prism for examining some of the largest themes in Africa's history . . . Finally, The Teeth May Smile is a thoughtful meditation on the nature of memory, on forgiveness and reconciliation.--Howard W. French, associate professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, The New York Times Book Review

On Sept. 22, 1972, a dusty car carrying three soldiers skidded to a stop outside a county headquarters in western Uganda. They apprehended the county chief, Eliphaz Laki, and told him he was wanted at the local army barracks for questioning. Then they drove him out of town, stopped at a cattle ranch, walked him into the bush, shot him in the back of the neck and left. Nearly three decades later, Eliphaz Laki's son Duncan pushed a shovel into the ground under a short oruyenje bush. The metal met something hard--a badly decomposed clump of human bones. Duncan had found his father. Pushcart Prize-winning journalist Andrew Rice, who lived in Uganda, tells the story of the son's search for his father--and for justice--in the compelling The Teeth May Smile but the Heart Does Not Forget. This book is much larger than a family tragedy. Through the experiences of the Lakis under the murderous dictatorship of Idi Amin, Rice takes on the age-old dilemmas of hatred, divisiveness, revenge, reconciliation and the corruption of power.--Karen Long, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)

The Teeth May Smile but the Heart Does Not Forget is an ambitious work of narrative journalism, the story of one man's quest for the truth about the murder of his father, who was killed during the brutal reign of dictator Idi Amin. But Rice's debut may well do for Uganda what Philip Gourevitch did for Rwanda, or Adam Hochschild

"Synopsis" by ,

One of Kirkus Reviews' Best Books of 2009

The people of Uganda have long struggled to bury the worst of their history, but after the violent reign of Idi Amin, reminders were never far from view. In 2000, lawyer Duncan Laki came across a clue to his father's 1972 disappearance, and the ensuing search ultimately led him to a shallow grave — and then to three old soldiers, including Amin's military chief of staff. Laki's discovery resulted in a trial that, in the end, offered all Ugandans the reckoning they had long been denied. A detective story, a tale of fathers and sons, and a political history, this is above all an illumination of the wounded societies of modern Africa and an exploration of how — and whether — the past can ever be lain to rest.

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