An Ordinary Man

An Ordinary Man

An Autobiography

Book - 2006
Average Rating:
Rate this:
The life story of Paul Rusesabagina, the man whose heroism inspired the film Hotel Rwanda. As his country was torn apart by violence during the Rwandan genocide of 1994, hotel manager Rusesabagina--the "Oskar Schindler of Africa"--refused to bow to the madness that surrounded him. Confronting killers with a combination of diplomacy, flattery, and deception, he offered shelter to more than 12,000 members of the Tutsi clan and Hutu moderates, while homicidal mobs raged outside. This book explores what the film could not: the inner life of the man who became the most prominent public face of that terrible conflict. Rusesabagina tells his full story--the son of a rural farmer, the child of a mixed marriage, the career path which led him to become the first Rwandan manager of the Belgian-owned hotel--all of which contributed to his heroic actions in the face of horror.--From publisher description.
Publisher: New York :, Viking,, 2006.
ISBN: 9780670037520
Branch Call Number: 967.5710431 R951R
Characteristics: xvi, 207 pages : maps ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: Zoellner, Tom


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Jul 18, 2017

In 1994, the African country of Rwanda saw a brutal, bloody genocide as the majority Hutu population incited fear and violence all across the country, resulting in the murder of a staggering 800,000 of the Tutsi minority. Paul Rusesabagina, a Hutu hotel manager in the capital city of Kigali aghast at what he was witnessing around him and risking his own life, sheltered more than 1,000 of the persecuted inside his hotel.

I'm always curious, when reading an autobiography that is co-written, about just how much of the writing is genuinely that of the individual in question, and how much has been "tidied up" by the more experienced author. In this case the prose and turns of phrase were distinct enough that I feel optimistic that the integrity of Rusesabagina's true voice has been preserved. How awe-inspiringly brave Paul Rusesabagina was amid such horrifying circumstances, and yet how fortunate he was to be in the unique position to assist in the manner he did. There is a lot of food for thought in this slim volume, not least the embarrassing level of inaction and seeming indifference by the UN and United States in response.

Jul 17, 2014

The title of this book may be "An ordinary man," but Paul Rusesabagina played an extraordinary role in 1994 when, like Schindler during the holocaust, he saved the lives of over a 1,000 Rwandans from sure death in the genocide in that country.
Paul stood up to the murderers bravely, called upon past favors, and in general did everything he could to not let a single life be lost amongst those who took shelter at the hotel in Kigali where he was the manager.
A poignant book which explains the dynamics of a genocide and the forces that caused it. He also bravely points fingers at where the blame lay in not preventing the death of 800,000 people in 100 days.

Aug 12, 2012

Once again this is a great book that shows how an ordinary man can fight back against the forces of evil-a must read for all who have seen Hotel Rwanda

Oct 11, 2006

Paul Rusesabagina the son of a Hutu father and a Tusti mother grew up in a rural village in Rwanda. In 1994 during the genocide, mass murder of the Tusti people, Paul was a general manager of a Belgian owned hotel in one of Rwanda's large cities.
He saw his friends and neighbors turn into murderers before his very eyes and decided that he had to use the hotel to save as many Tusti and Hutu moderates as he could from being slaughtered.
He managed to save over 1200 people using his fantastic persuasive speaking skills, cases of wine and beer, and favors owed to him by powerful men.

This man was extrordinary. His story of the genocide while horrifying at times is gripping.

His story inspired the movie Hotel Rwanda.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at APL

To Top