Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda - Roméo Dallaire
Shake Hands with the Devil is a compelling memoir that tells the tale of General Romeo Dallaire and his experiences during the Rwandan genocide. Dallaire provides a first0hand account of the atrocities that he experienced in Rwanda, while continuously receiving the same order from the United Nations: Do not act.

Before I read this book, my dream was to one day work for the United Nations, to work against violence and corruption, and foster peace and development. Dallaire's novel completely shattered those dreams, as I was introduced to the inner workings of the UN and its inability to act in situations such as Rwanda. I was horrified that Dallaire was ordered to stay put and do nothing to quell the genocide that was occurring right in from of him. I was indignant that a man who was sent on a simple peacekeeping mission was forced to watch 800,000 people die without being able to do anything about it. I was disgusted with the bureaucracy of the UN, and the fact that nobody cared about a tiny little country called Rwanda.

Dallaire tells his story to get an important point across: Never again. Never again can the world sit by and let such a disastrous event take place. Never again will we watch 800,000 people die in 100 days and take no action to stop it, no matter in which country it takes place. We can no longer just sit by and watch as countries tear themselves apart in civil war, resulting in the deaths of thousands.

Having seen Dallaire speak at the University of Ottawa, I can tell that he is passionate about these issues. His experience in Rwanda left him suicidal and depressed. Going through this journey with him was extremely emotional, but what it really did was make me want to take action. Whether it was from inside the UN, or through a non-profit, or simply through writing on these issues, anything can help to spread the word and make sure this never happens again.

This book is an important read for any student in international development, or anybody interested in the United Nations and its politics. 4.5 stars