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When Victims Become Killers: Colonialism, Nativism, and the Genocide in Rwanda

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When Victims Become Killers: Colonialism, Nativism, and the Genocide in Rwanda Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"When we captured Kigali, we thought we would face criminals in the state; instead, we faced a criminal population." So a political commissar in the Rwanda Patriotic Front reflected after the 1994 massacre of as many as one million Tutsis in Rwanda. Underlying his statement is the realization that, though ordered by a minority of state functionaries, the slaughter was performed by hundreds of thousands of ordinary citizens, including even judges, human rights activists, and doctors, nurses, priests, friends, and spouses of the victims. Indeed, it is its very popularity that makes the Rwandan genocide so unthinkable. This book makes it thinkable.

Rejecting easy explanations of the genocide as a mysterious evil force that was bizarrely unleashed, one of Africa's best-known intellectuals situates the tragedy in its proper context. He coaxes to the surface the historical, geographical, and political forces that made it possible for so many Hutu to turn so brutally on their neighbors. He finds answers in the nature of political identities generated during colonialism, in the failures of the nationalist revolution to transcend these identities, and in regional demographic and political currents that reach well beyond Rwanda. In so doing, Mahmood Mamdani usefully broadens understandings of citizenship and political identity in postcolonial Africa.

There have been few attempts to explain the Rwandan horror, and none has succeeded so well as this one. Mamdani's analysis provides a solid foundation for future studies of the massacre. Even more important, his answers point a way out of crisis: a direction for reforming political identity in central Africa and preventing future tragedies.

Synopsis:

"This well written and strongly argued book qualifies Mahmood Mamdani as one of the most articulate, original, and stimulating African social scientists. His interpretation of the Rwandan genocide crisis will cause considerable controversy and will prove a fresh turning point in the process of 'de-inventing' Africa."--Mamadou Diouf

"This is a very impressive piece of work--a scholar's attempt to move beyond the clichés of horror towards a genuine understanding of the social dynamics which made horror possible. It's a good example of relevant, committed, and passionate scholarship."--Michael Ignatieff

"Daring, knowledgeable, and wise, Mahmood Mamdani places the terrible massacres of 1994 in historical, regional, theoretical, and moral perspective. His analysis of Hutu and Tutsi as historically grounded and incessantly changing political identities not only clarifies struggles of the 1990s in Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, and Congo but also helps identify ways of preventing future bloodshed."--Charles Tilly

"Mamdani's central argument is coherent, consistent, and compelling, and his account of the Rwandan crisis is riveting from beginning to end. It is also rendered with eloquence, generosity of spirit, and political shrewdness. His uncanny ability to use scholarly methods to cast light on public life is admirable and a model for the rest of us."--Carlos Forment

Synopsis:

"When we captured Kigali, we thought we would face criminals in the state; instead, we faced a criminal population." So a political commissar in the Rwanda Patriotic Front reflected after the 1994 massacre of as many as one million Tutsis in Rwanda. Underlying his statement is the realization that, though ordered by a minority of state functionaries, the slaughter was performed by hundreds of thousands of ordinary citizens, including even judges, human rights activists, and doctors, nurses, priests, friends, and spouses of the victims. Indeed, it is its very popularity that makes the Rwandan genocide so unthinkable. This book makes it thinkable.

Rejecting easy explanations of the genocide as a mysterious evil force that was bizarrely unleashed, one of Africa's best-known intellectuals situates the tragedy in its proper context. He coaxes to the surface the historical, geographical, and political forces that made it possible for so many Hutu to turn so brutally on their neighbors. He finds answers in the nature of political identities generated during colonialism, in the failures of the nationalist revolution to transcend these identities, and in regional demographic and political currents that reach well beyond Rwanda. In so doing, Mahmood Mamdani usefully broadens understandings of citizenship and political identity in postcolonial Africa.

There have been few attempts to explain the Rwandan horror, and none has succeeded so well as this one. Mamdani's analysis provides a solid foundation for future studies of the massacre. Even more important, his answers point a way out of crisis: a direction for reforming political identity in central Africa and preventing future tragedies.

About the Author

Mahmood Mamdani is Herbert Lehman Professor of Government and Director of the Institute of African Studies at Columbia University. He is the author of Citizen and

Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations ix

Preface and Acknowledgments xi

Introduction: Thinking about Genocide 3

1. Defining the Crisis of Postcolonial Citizenship: Settler and Native as Political Identities 19

2. The Origins of Hutu and Tutsi 41

3. The Racialization of the Hutu/Tutsi Difference under Colonialism 76

4. The Social Revolution of 1959 103

5. The Second Republic: Redefining Tutsi from Race to Ethnicity 132

6. The Politics of Indigeneity in Uganda: Background to the RPF Invasion 159

7. The Civil War and the Genocide 185

8. Tutsi Power in Rwanda and the Citizenship Crisis in Eastern Congo 234

Conclusion: Political Reform after Genocide 264

Notes 283

Bibliography 343

Index 357

Product Details

ISBN:
9780691102801
Author:
Mamdani, Mahmood
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Location:
Princeton
Subject:
Africa
Subject:
History
Subject:
Violence
Subject:
Africa - General
Subject:
Violence in Society
Subject:
History & Theory
Subject:
Political Science and International Relations
Subject:
Anthropology
Subject:
Postcolonial Studies
Subject:
Genocide -- Rwanda -- History -- 20th century.
Subject:
Tutsi (African people) -- Crimes against.
Subject:
World History-Africa
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
August 2002
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
Language:
English
Illustrations:
3 maps
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 19 oz

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Africa » Rwanda and Burundi
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Politics » International Studies
History and Social Science » Sociology » Violence in Society
History and Social Science » World History » Africa
Science and Mathematics » Mathematics » Modeling

When Victims Become Killers: Colonialism, Nativism, and the Genocide in Rwanda New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$36.25 In Stock
Product details 384 pages Princeton University Press - English 9780691102801 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , "This well written and strongly argued book qualifies Mahmood Mamdani as one of the most articulate, original, and stimulating African social scientists. His interpretation of the Rwandan genocide crisis will cause considerable controversy and will prove a fresh turning point in the process of 'de-inventing' Africa."--Mamadou Diouf

"This is a very impressive piece of work--a scholar's attempt to move beyond the clichés of horror towards a genuine understanding of the social dynamics which made horror possible. It's a good example of relevant, committed, and passionate scholarship."--Michael Ignatieff

"Daring, knowledgeable, and wise, Mahmood Mamdani places the terrible massacres of 1994 in historical, regional, theoretical, and moral perspective. His analysis of Hutu and Tutsi as historically grounded and incessantly changing political identities not only clarifies struggles of the 1990s in Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, and Congo but also helps identify ways of preventing future bloodshed."--Charles Tilly

"Mamdani's central argument is coherent, consistent, and compelling, and his account of the Rwandan crisis is riveting from beginning to end. It is also rendered with eloquence, generosity of spirit, and political shrewdness. His uncanny ability to use scholarly methods to cast light on public life is admirable and a model for the rest of us."--Carlos Forment

"Synopsis" by , "When we captured Kigali, we thought we would face criminals in the state; instead, we faced a criminal population." So a political commissar in the Rwanda Patriotic Front reflected after the 1994 massacre of as many as one million Tutsis in Rwanda. Underlying his statement is the realization that, though ordered by a minority of state functionaries, the slaughter was performed by hundreds of thousands of ordinary citizens, including even judges, human rights activists, and doctors, nurses, priests, friends, and spouses of the victims. Indeed, it is its very popularity that makes the Rwandan genocide so unthinkable. This book makes it thinkable.

Rejecting easy explanations of the genocide as a mysterious evil force that was bizarrely unleashed, one of Africa's best-known intellectuals situates the tragedy in its proper context. He coaxes to the surface the historical, geographical, and political forces that made it possible for so many Hutu to turn so brutally on their neighbors. He finds answers in the nature of political identities generated during colonialism, in the failures of the nationalist revolution to transcend these identities, and in regional demographic and political currents that reach well beyond Rwanda. In so doing, Mahmood Mamdani usefully broadens understandings of citizenship and political identity in postcolonial Africa.

There have been few attempts to explain the Rwandan horror, and none has succeeded so well as this one. Mamdani's analysis provides a solid foundation for future studies of the massacre. Even more important, his answers point a way out of crisis: a direction for reforming political identity in central Africa and preventing future tragedies.

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