Philip Gourevitch – We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families

This program is read by the author.

Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award.

An unforgettable firsthand account of a people’s response to genocide and what it tells us about humanity.

This remarkable audiobook chronicles what has happened in Rwanda and neighboring states since 1994, when the Rwandan government called on everyone in the Hutu majority to murder everyone in the Tutsi minority. Though the killing was low-tech – largely by machete – it was carried out at shocking speed: some 800,000 people were exterminated in 100 days. A Tutsi pastor, in a letter to his church president, a Hutu, used the chilling phrase that gives Philip Gourevitch his title.

With keen dramatic intensity, Gourevitch frames the genesis and horror of Rwanda’s “genocidal logic” in the anguish of its aftermath: the mass displacements, the temptations of revenge and the quest for justice, the impossibly crowded prisons and refugee camps. Through intimate portraits of Rwandans in all walks of life, he focuses on the psychological and political challenges of survival and on how the new leaders of postcolonial Africa went to war in the Congo when resurgent genocidal forces threatened to overrun Central Africa.

Can a country composed largely of perpetrators and victims create a cohesive national society? This moving contribution to the literature of witness tells us much about the struggle everywhere to forge sane, habitable political orders, and about the stubbornness of the human spirit in a world of extremity.

Author: Philip Gourevitch
Narrator: Philip Gourevitch
Duration: 10 hours 23 minutes
Released: 19 Sep 2004
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Language: English

User Review:

decadent glamorous

There are many, many gruesome details I can’t repeat, things generally outside people’s awareness of the genocide. Twenty minutes into this book and I could neither turn away nor even think the same way about people in general. The author, Philip Gourevitch, gave a remarkable performance; his articulation is stellar. I think he unfortunately used a cheap microphone, yet the narration makes it strong overall.

You can feel the author’s emotions as he uncovers what occurred and how it affected all who remain: survivors, perpetrators and the rest. I suppose this is the most cited book on the genocide to date, yet the story is far too big to have any one definitive book. I feel certain some of the best books on the subject haven’t been written yet.

Yes, I will want to go deeper into this subject with other books, hopefully some new ones that take us to the present. I want to know whether race identification is fundamentally evil and what if anything can ever be done about it.