{Post by the Husband} Book Review: Shake Hands with the Devil

August 23, 2012 § Leave a comment


This is a series of brief book reviews of literary works that have been read by Ben or myself. The book list will be published at the end of the month and will include titles that have been finished in the previous month. All books are rated using the following system:


5 Stars – Excellent. Couldn’t put it down, a real page turner. It’s easy to be a bookworm when the material is this good!


4 Stars – Very Good. Liked most of the book, a little slow in parts. Was an enjoyable read overall.


3 Stars – Average. Nothing really made it stand out. A bit boring. Unrealistic plot.


2 Stars – So-so. Blah. Could only read a few pages before I fell asleep.


1 Stars – Poor. So boring…why did I even finish this??



  •  Shake Hands with the Devil by Romeo Dallaire
  • 3.5 Stars


I recently completed Romeo Dallaire’s book “Shake Hands with the Devil”, a first-hand account of the 1994 Rwandan genocide.  Dallaire was the commander of the UN Peacekeeping force, and he watched helplessly as the genocide against the Tutsi’s took place amidst the indifference of the UN and its member nations.  This book is shocking on several levels – it is shocking that people are capable of such violence and brutality.  It is shocking that the West in particular was so indifferent to cries for help.  It is shocking that this happened less than twenty years ago.


The book gets a bit repetitive and is perhaps overly detailed.  Also, Dallaire understandably comes across as frustrated that his pleas land on deaf ears, thus it may appear like he is blaming everyone for not doing enough.  However, I am certainly sympathetic as he witnessed unspeakable horrors and was unable to take action to prevent this disaster.  Overall, this is a necessary book as it provides a glimpse into recent history and the horrors which man is capable of inflicting upon his fellow man.




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