Books About Genocide

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Want to start a cause-related book club or maybe a reading? Raise awareness about genocide? These resources are a great way to do that, not to mention captivating reads.

General

A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide by Samantha Power - Examines 20th century genocides and how the United States responded to each instance.

The Sunflower on the Possibilities of Limits of Forgiveness by Simon Wiesenthal - Retracing Wiesenthal's steps toward personal forgiveness, he recalls his time in the Holocaust as a Nazi hunter who pursued Nazi war criminals.

Rwanda

Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda by Romeo Dallaire - Written by the former head of the 1993 U.N. peacekeeping mission in Rwanda, he witnessed the 1994 Rwanda Genocide.

Machete Season: The Killers in Rwanda Speak by Jean Hatzfield - Features the testimonies of 10 friends from the same village who killed Tutsis during the genocide. First-hand glimpse into how regular people became mass-murderers.

We Wish to Inform you That Tomorrow we Will be Killed With Our Families: Stories from Rwanda by Philip Gourevitch - Gourevitch reported from Rwanda for New Yorker magazine and examines the stories of Rwandans, including the real “Hotel Rwanda” hero, Paul Russesabagina and politicians like General Paul Kagame. The book touches on race relations, international response to the genocide, the Rwandan justice system and more.

Africa’s World War: Congo, the Rwandan Genocide and the Making of Continental Catastrophe by Gerard Prunier - Chronicles a first-hand account into the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide, where the new Rwandan regime took over and killed over 400,000 people.

Deogratias: A Tale of Rwanda by J.P. Stassen and Alexis Siegel - A graphic novel set between 1994 and 1995 about a young boy living in Rwanda during the time of the genocide.

Say You’re One of Them by Uwem Akpan - Five stories - set in Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Benin - about children and their perilous lives, their searches for escape, along with food, family and survival.

A Sunday at the Pool in Kigali by Gil Courtemanche - The stories of survivors and victims staying at the Hotel des Milles Collines (of "Hotel Rwanda fame) of the 1994 Rwandan genocide through a journalist's eyes.

Armenia

Forgotten Fire by Adam Bagdasarian - Based on the experiences of the author’s great-uncle during the Armenian holocaust, the protagonist is forced to watch his father be taken by police, his brothers shot dead, and his sister choose deadly poison over rape by soldiers.

A Shameful Act: The Armenian Genocide and the Question of Turkish Responsibility by Taner Akcam - Story of the Ottoman Empire’s slaughter of one million Armenians in 1915 in a genocide still denied by the modern Turkish state. This book examines the dynamics at work during and after.

Vergeen: A Survivor of the Armenian Genocide by Mae M. Derdarian - Tells the story of the author’s mother’s friend, Vergeen, who survived rape, starvation and mutilation under the Turk regime.

Bosnia

The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway - Follows four people in Sarajevo while the city is under siege.

The Hemingway Book Club of Kosovo by Paula Huntley - Huntley went with her husband on an assignment to help build a legal system in war-torn Kosovo and kept a journal of her experiences coming into contact with human tragedy every day.

Zlata’s Diary: A Child’s Life in Wartime Sarajevo by Zlata Filipovic - Called the Anne Frank of the Bosnian genocide, 10-year-old Zlata tells the story of her life living in Sarajevo during the Bosnian genocide.

Cambodia

Children of the River by Linda Crew - Tells the story of a Cambodian girl who fled her country as she struggles to fit into American life.

First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers by Loung Ung - The story touches on the deaths and forced separation of family members and reflects the brutality of the Khmer Rouge regime.

Darfur

A Short History of A long War by Julie Flint and Alex de Waal - An introduction to and history of the Darfur conflict.

Darfur Diaries, Stories of Survival, Jen Marlowe by Aisha Bain and Adam Shapiro - Unsatisfied with media coverage of the Darfur crisis, three filmmakers went to Sudan and talked to Darfurians about their history, cultures, dreams and their tragic reality.

The Devil Came on Horseback: Bearing Witness to Genocide in Darfur by Brian Steidle and Gretchen Steidle Wallace - Steidle, a former U.S. Marine, went to Darfur as part of an unarmed team to monitor a ceasefire agreement. With just his camera and a notebook, he documented the genocide and became frustrated with the lack of international response. The book tells of what he witnessed on the ground.

A Long Day’s Dying: Critical Moments in the Darfur Genocide by Eric Reeves - Thorough and knowledgeable account of the genocide and the Sudanese government’s heavy-handed role in it.

Not on Our Watch: The Mission to End Genocide in Darfur and Beyond Don Cheadle and John Prendergast - Cheadle teamed up with activist and African affairs expert Prendergast to raise awareness through a brief history and how they got involved.

The Translator: A Memoir by Daoud Hari - Written by a Zaghawa tribesman in northern Darfur who fled his village when it was under siege, his brother was killed and his family driven into exile. Hari touches on the disappearance of traditions, his work as a translator for films and UN genocide investigators, journalists and more.

Holocaust

The Diary of a Young Girl: Anne Frank by Anne Frank - Based on excerpts from a diary written by Frank when she was hiding for two years with her family during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands.

Night by Elie Wiesel - A Nobel Laureate and one of the world’s most well-known Holocaust survivors, Wiesel writes about how he survived the Holocaust that killed his family. He tells of the death camps and of his confusion as to why it all happened.

The Drowned and the Saved by Primo Levi - A look at Auschwitz, the camp where the author was imprisoned during World War II, published months after his suicide in 1987.

Maus I: A Survivor’s Tale by Art Spiegelman - A graphic novel giving the reader a historical, artistic, heart wrenching and at times humorous, account of his father’s experience as a Holocaust survivor.

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry - Brings to light one of the little-known stories of WWII, the evacuation of Jews from Nazi-held Denmark. It is a fictionalized version of true events through the eyes of a 10-year old girl.

Survival in Auschwitz by Primo Levi - Written shortly after the end of the Holocaust, and gives a detailed account of the author’s experience being deported from Turin, Italy and ending up in a concentration camp.