An Ordinary Man: An Autobiography Kindle ☆ Ordinary

An Ordinary Man: An Autobiography [Reading] ➺ An Ordinary Man: An Autobiography By Paul Rusesabagina – The remarkable life story of the man who inspired the film Hotel Rwanda Readers who were moved and horrified by Hotel Rwanda will respond even intensely to Paul Rusesabagina’s unforgettable autobiog The remarkable life story of the man Man: An PDF Å who inspired the film Hotel Rwanda Readers who were moved and horrified by Hotel Rwanda will respond even intensely to Paul Rusesabagina’s unforgettable autobiography As Rwanda was thrown into chaos during the genocide Rusesabagina a hotel manager turned the luxurious Hotel Milles Collines into a refuge for than Tutsi and moderate Hutu refugees while fending off An Ordinary ePUB ´ 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 days in which he was the only thing standing between his “guests” and a hideous death and recounts his subseuent life as a refugee and activist.

10 thoughts on “An Ordinary Man: An Autobiography

  1. Diane in Australia Diane in Australia says:

    It was an honour to read Paul's own words of his actions during the genocide in Rwanda He was the 'perfect' man for the job Not many could have filled his shoes He instinctively knew when to speak when not to speak what to say and what not to say His skill with people with words with his own self control saved lives What a man5 Stars Exceptional It made a significant impact

  2. Lindsey Lindsey says:

    Be careful with this story Paul Rusesabagina is an incredibly controversial and unpopular character in Rwanda on all sides of the conflict and not just because he's spoken out against Paul Kagame Many Rwandese including victims of the genocide feel as if he exaggerated his tale in order to paint himself in the best light For example the idea that he was able to save lives by bribing the Interahamwe with the contents of a liuor cabinet is ludicrous Many people believe that he was able to provide safety by carefully choosing who he took in such as the wealthy Tutsi wives of Hutu commanders While Rusesabagina saved many lives nobody really knows what happened in the Milles Collines and it is possible he cannot be taken at his word If you want accurate and corroborated books that tell the story of the genocide or its aftermath there are much better choices Try We Wish to Inform you that Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families or The Antelope's Strategy

  3. Becky Becky says:

    I was only 12 years old when the genocide in Rwanda took place I heard about it on the news my dad watched every night but admittedly I was not exactly politically observant back then and the news was nothing than background noise to me so I knew next to nothing when I saw Hotel Rwanda The movie was eye opening to say the least and I was incredibly moved by it But I hadn't known that Paul Rusesabagina had written a book until very recently when I happened to stumble on it here on Goodreads I'm very glad that I discovered it here and I'm even glad to have read it For some strange reason I tend to gravitate towards emotionally difficult subject matter when it comes to my reading material I've only recently realized this about myself but I've always been drawn to books about devastating subjects death loss abuse the holocaust etc I don't really know why I read these but I know that they affect me immensely and that I love the raw feeling that I have when I have read something emotionally horrifying when I just feel incredibly lucky to be who and where I am Maybe that makes me a little callous but if so then so be it I think that the gut wrenching stories help us to understand ourselves and each other and the world better and there is just something wonderful about books that take us out of ourselves to walk a mile in someone else's shoes even when there is a rock in one So with that being said when I saw that Rusesabagina had written his story down I needed to read it I had been moved and awakened by the movie and I was thrilled that there was an autobiography that would allow me to learn about the man himself and the country that had caused so much devastation for itself and its people The book was not nearly as emotionally moving as it could have been It was written very simply and directly No suspense no drama just his story in everyday language A better author could have wrung every tear and every heartache out of these 207 pages and Rusesabagina did not do that This is not a criticism though The lack of artistry lends it a truth and a weight that would have felt fake and forced had it been showy Rusesabagina simply told his and his country's story as he understood it I enjoyed reading it immensely It felt intimate like Rusesabagina and I were having a conversation This was not the best written book and I counted uite a few incongruent details and typos and grammatical errors but aside from that this was an incredibly compelling story It did not move me in the same way that I'm used to with talented authors who excel at shaping their words carefully to evoke a desired response out of the reader This isn't that kind of story Rusesabagina simply and honestly introduced us to his Rwanda the Rwanda he grew up in and loved and would always love and also the sinister Rwanda lurking just under the surface which would rise in 1994 to kill 800000 people in a little over 3 months He gave us the the Cliff's Notes edition of Rwandan history which showed how something like this could happen in this day and age when we've supposedly learned this lesson before He tells us how the world's most powerful nations failed to act to prevent the massacre and how he used his wits and his courage and his words and connections alone to save over 1200 people from a certain and gruesome death I don't know how true his story is but there is a bibliography at the end with other books on the subject which has given me a place to start if I decide to read specifically Leave None To Tell The Story Genocide in Rwanda by Alison Des Forges and We Wish To Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families Stories From Rwanda by Philip Gourevitch Even if it is not 100% true and he's allowed time and memory and perception to rewrite some of the specifics it doesn't really matter to me I just know that Rusesabagina's is a heroic and brave story that inspires me He saved people when his entire country had gone mad If even half of the thoughts and wisdom imparted actually went through Rusesabagina's head in the moment then he is nothing less than awe inspiring and amazingly wise He shows how a person can rise above the mob mentality and be a hero just by showing common decency and refusing to falter He shows how a situation like this can happenand predicted it will happen again but most importantly he shows that there is good and evil in all of us and it is our choice which one we will let rule us Rusesabagina's version of ordinary is one that we should all aspire to be I think

  4. Margie Margie says:

    It's hard to review a true story about something terrible An Ordinary Man An Autobiography though isn't a book about the Rwandan massacre; it's a book about Paul Rusesabagina's experience of it His voice his personality his clear sightedness all come through brilliantly in this co written autobiographyWhat struck me most about this book was how apt the title is Under extraordinary circumstances this ordinary man did the extraordinary He managed to keep than 1200 people safe while genocide was taking place mere hundreds of yards awayI won't go into the details of how Rusesabagina managed to do what he did if you want to know read the book I will just note though that he's not a magician He used his skills training and supplies at hand to fend off an army What this ordinary man did was amazing and a blessing to the world

  5. Elizabeth Nixon Elizabeth Nixon says:

    I can't claim I know everything about this or what happened during the genocide but since I left for Rwanda in January I've been hearing an entirely different story This article summarizes what I've been hearing on the matteragain not my expertise but Rusesabagina is not a hero in Rwanda and I think there's a good reason

  6. Judith Judith says:

    The title was to me offputting initially It seemed like false modesty Oh but I'm just an ordinary man But I changed my mind after listening Rusesabagina saved over a twelve hundred people from death during the short massacre in Rwanda in 1994 He calculated that he saved a matter of a few hours' worth of deaths based on the rate of killing in those few months a rate unsurpassed by any other genocide in recorded history How did he do it? And why? He gives us uite a clue when he tells us about his childhood His father was a leader in his village and he was not afraid of death He hid people during an earlier attempt at genocide in the 1950s He also provided Paul with an example of a person untainted by the absurd prejudices of the time Through this volume we become familiar with the history of Rwanda Simply put it was white conuerers particularly Belgian who set the hutus against the tutsis by defining the different groups prejudicially the tutsis were the refined intelligent leaders while the hutus were only suitable for slave labor essentially This distinction served the Belgians well but in no way reflected reality In fact the two groups had been mixed for many years to the point where almost everyone was really neither one or the other and the two were never that different in the first place Paul had a Tutsi mother and a Hutu father In Rwanda this meant he was Tutsi Yet one of his close friends from childhood with a Tutsi father and Hutu mother was defined as Hutu and was forced to leave school In the early 1990s a civilian radio station came on the air At first it was all fun and provided a pleasant contrast to the government run stations But gradually it used its power to reach people to spread a message of hatred against the Tutsis Paul placed the blame for the genocide primarily at the feet of this station which it turns out actually was government run after all But back to Paul and how he was able to be effective in his role as hotel manager He was detail oriented and fit the job of hotel manager very well The French owners of the Hotel Mille Collines recognized his talent and sent him to hotel school and later placed him as manager This was uite a coup for a black man working in a luxury hotel in Rwanda Paul did not let the owners down He was meticulous and careful and used his position to get to know the regulars including many in the military and government He was later able to use these connections to good effect It is hard to imagine a world where you wake up one morning and find that one of your neighbors is attacking another with a machete Yet this is the world Paul did wake to and strived to understand In this memoir he does an excellent job of explaining the basis for the race hatred the not so subtle propaganda and the genocide It is difficult to understand a situation where friends suddenly become enemies where children are slaughtered along with their parents Paul provides an explanation that we should pay attention to

  7. Joanna Joanna says:

    First listening to this book on audio was extremely powerful So much so that I actually had to stop the CD stop the car then turn it back on to listen to because it was so moving and was making it hard for me to concentrate on driving The author manages to use direct language to tell his amazing story of being the manager of a hotel in Rwanda during the genocide He managed to turn the hotel into a refugee base and amazingly held off the militia and other killers for 76 days saving the lives of than 1000 peopleThe book provides an extremely harsh view of the world's failure and particularly the failure of the United States and the United Nations to intervene in the early days of the genocide to prevent the killing of hundreds of thousands of innocent people The author also tells the story of both his negotiations with specific individuals and the story of what happened to others that he knewI cannot recommend this book highly enough Though the subject matter is disturbing it's an important piece of world history

  8. Natalie Richards Natalie Richards says:

    I have read about the controversy that surrounds Paul Rusesabagina; how he has allegedly embellished his role in the saving of over 1200 lives during the 1994 Rwandan Genocide and incites further hate when giving talks about his experiences during that timebut I am glad that I read this book I remember watching the news in horror all those years ago and reading this book brought back those awful memories If this book is a true account of what happened during those 100 days 1994 then he is indeed a remarkable man

  9. Bobcesca Bobcesca says:

    Paul Rusesabagina has been hailed outside of Rwanda as a hero However having spoken to Rwandans his story is full of inaccuracies and takes credit for other people's sacrifices There are so many stories of selfless people during the genocide who did whatever they could to help their countrymen this is not one of them

  10. David P David P says:

    The book's title is a wry understatement it is an autobiography of Paul Rusesabagina the hotel manager whose courage resourcefulness shrewd tact and personal presence saved than 1000 lives when a spasm of genocide swept Rwanda in 1994 It is the story of his entire life from village childhood in the country of a thousand hills in central Africa to reluctant exile after the genocide If you have seen the film Hotel Rwanda you already know about him But where a movie even a powerfully moving one gives at most momentary glimpses this small book paints a much comprehensive picture By all means read it Slowly If you have not seen the film read the book first then go watch it The film itself packs an enormous emotional punch but with the book you suddenly understand it much better Indeed this ought to be reuired reading in high schools and universities anywhere teaching a lesson any young citizen needs to absorb when facing the 21st century A lesson about genocide about a willful attempt by one social group to exterminate another and if the one of Rwanda may not have been the largest one the authors here show and Tom Zoellner shares full credit that it stood out from the rest in ferocity intensity and cruelty The forces which led to genocide built up over many years Rwanda and its sister state Burundi are two small states on the spine of Africa enormously fertile and densely populated by two ethnic groups the Hutus and the Tutsis That division Rusesabagina makes clear was the root of the evil which followed In the middle 1800s the writings of explorer John Hanning Speke presented it as a fact of life and the rest of the world accepted it without uestion tall elite Tutsis who had arrived from the east and tended animals and suat Hutu peasant farmers from west Africa a lower class in society Maybe at one time such a division existed but intermarriage and a common language and culture many had become Christian gradually blurred it There was nothing unusual in Rusesabagina a Hutu taking a Tutsi wife What sustained and strengthened the division were the Belgian colonial rulers whose identity cards demanded the bearer to be ethnically defined as Hutu or Tutsi Dividing the country helped their rule but it also sowed new seeds of hatred After WW II when Belgium and other colonial powers left Africa corrupt politics soon brought a general deterioration The Hutu majority group ruled the country and in the early 90s it launched by radio a vicious campaign of hate propaganda A militant organization formed and weapons were hoarded preparing to ethnically clean the country of its cockroaches Tutsis exiled to neighboring countries meanwhile established their own military force The storm broke in April 1994 with the murder by missile of the presidents of both Rwanda and Burundi no one ever found who did it What followed is hard to describe in just a few sentences In all about 800000 people died within 100 days than a tenth of the population Most were Tutsis but Hutus trying to stem the hate died too Ordinary citizens seemingly peaceful and friendly suddenly ganged up on their neighbors hacking them apart with machetes then looting their homes At roadblocks passengers were taken off cars and those with Tutsi identity cards were hacked to pieces their bodies rotting by the wayside or floating down a river The spasm of violence might have been nipped in the bud but the UN stood aside and ordered its troops not to intervene while France hoping to gain political influence actually helped arm the Hutus and protected them after they were beaten All this is described in a measured matter of fact language by Rusesabagina in the tone of a citizen used to peace and order yet forced by circumstances to face raw evil And yet those sober controlled words convey their message forcefully than any outraged adjectives could do Here is the manager of the most prestigious hotel of the capital skilled in catering to the needs of important visitors and pleasing diverse guests in an orderly and non obtrusive fashion and suddenly he is in a battle zone his hotel turned into an unarmed city of refuge Lesser men may have tried to flee less resourceful ones may have died indeed he himself was reconciled to the thought of never getting out alive Yet he survived as did every person in his hotel Luck helped of course again and again But it would not have happened without the author's strong moral character and the book also tells what the movie does not how that character was molded by a strict but kind family especially by a mentoring and encouraging father Luck alone would not have sufficed without the author's fine tuned psychological insight People who may seem purely evil he tells us often have hard and soft sides to their personality for instance that police chief siding with the murderers may not be completely at peace with what he is doing Avoid judgment find his soft side and gently encourage it Talk to the enemy holding a gun on you if he converses with you he is less likely to shoot Bring out a bottle of good wine share it with the general leading the gangs and talk to him over drinks It may help The film ends when all the hotel's occupants escape to the Tutsi rebels but the book goes on and the story is not all sunny The Tutsi forces too were harsh and did not always distinguish friend from foe After they capture the capital city Kigali many of the country's Hutus guilty and innocent alike flee in panic across the border Rusesabagina's nightmare seems over new identity papers omit any ethnic identification and once again he manages a high class hotel But devastation remains Of the family of his brother in law only two little girls survive whom he raises with his own children Laconically he comments I have lost four of my eight siblings For a Rwandan family this is a comparatively lucky outcome And the dangers remain too enemies are still loose often unidentified His life is threatened and he ends up accepting asylum in Belgium and driving a cab in Brussels Hard work brings prosperity another cab and then a trucking company in Zambia and then uite by chance his story is discovered and made into a film After a delay of years Paul is acclaimed for his heroic deeds and even invited to the White House But he still cannot return home True peace continues to elude Rwanda whose new government again seems to enter a path of cronyism and corruption evils which preceded the genocide It is a small country with limited area and resources far from stable Europe and from an indifferent US Can the past horrors happen again? The authors fear that they can and give convincing reasons There is much to be learned from this honest tale and Rosesabagina and Zoellner express it uite well They have no solution no one does but if one is reached some day this slim book has been an important contribution towards it Read it

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