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An Ordinary Man: An Autobiographyby Paul Rusesabagina and Tom Zoellner
Synopses & Reviews
The riveting life story of Paul Rusesabagina — the man whose heroism inspired the film Hotel Rwanda.
As his country was being torn apart by violence during the Rwandan genocide of 1994, hotel manager Paul Rusesabagina — the "Oskar Schindler of Africa" — refused to bow to the madness that surrounded him. Confronting killers with a combination of diplomacy, flattery, and deception, he offered shelter to more than twelve thousand members of the Tutsi clan and Hutu moderates, while homicidal mobs raged outside with machetes.
An Ordinary Man explores what the Academy Award-nominated film Hotel Rwanda could not: the inner life of the man who became one of the most prominent public faces of that terrible conflict. Rusesabagina tells for the first time the full story of his life — growing up as the son of a rural farmer, the child of a mixed marriage, his extraordinary career path which led him to become the first Rwandan manager of the Belgian-owned Hotel Milles Collines — all of which contributed to his heroic actions in the face of such horror. He will also bring the reader inside the hotel for those one hundred terrible days depicted in the film, relating the anguish of those who watched as their loved ones were hacked to pieces and the betrayal that he felt as a result of the UN's refusal to help at this time of crisis.
Including never-before-reported details of the Rwandan genocide, An Ordinary Man is sure to become a classic of tolerance literature, joining such books as Thomas Keneally's Schindler's List, Nelson Mandela's Long Walk to Freedom, and Elie Wiesel's Night. Paul Rusesabagina's autobiography is the story of one man who did not let fear get the better of him — a man who found within himself a vast reserve of courage and bravery, and showed the world how one "ordinary man" can become a hero.
The riveting life story of Rusesabagina--the man whose heroism inspired the film "Hotel Rwanda"--is sure to become a classic of tolerance literature. "An Ordinary Man" explores what the film could not: the inner life of the man who became one of the most prominent public faces of that terrible conflict. 8-page photo insert.
April 2014 marks the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide--Read more about the conflict and the amazing life story of the man who inspired the film Hotel Rwanda in this remarkable account
Readers who were moved and horrified by Hotel Rwanda will respond even more intensely to Paul Rusesabaginas unforgettable autobiography. As Rwanda was thrown into chaos during the 1994 genocide, Rusesabagina, a hotel manager, turned the luxurious Hotel Milles Collines into a refuge for more than 1,200 Tutsi and moderate Hutu refugees, while fending off their would-be killers with a combination of diplomacy and deception. In An Ordinary Man, he tells the story of his childhood, retraces his accidental path to heroism, revisits the 100 days in which he was the only thing standing between his guests” and a hideous death, and recounts his subsequent life as a refugee and activist.
About the Author
Paul Rusesabagina was the first Rwandan manager of the Hotel Milles Collines, a European-owned luxury hotel in Rwanda. A recipient of the National Civil Rights Museum's 2005 Freedom Award, he lives in Brussels, Belgium.
Tom Zoellner has worked as a contributing editor for Men's Health magazine and as a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle. His book The Heartless Stone: A Journey Through the World of Diamonds and Desire will be published in the summer of 2006.
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