The Rebels' Hour

By Lieve Joris; Liz Waters (Translator)
(Grove Press, Hardcover, 9780802118684, 272pp.)

Publication Date: April 2008

Other Editions of This Title: Paperback

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In The Rebels’ Hour , world renowned journalist Lieve Joris illuminates the dark heart of contemporary Congo through the prism of one lonely and complicated rebel leader who becomes a high ranking general in the Congolese army.

When Assani, a young cowherd, leaves his remote village to pursue his studies in the city, he learns that he is ethnically Tutsi; though uninterested in politics or military life, he is forced to take sides in the bloody conflict rocking the Congo in the wake of the Rwandan genocide. Strong, clever, and trusting of no one, he becomes a fearsome rebel leader. With his cadre of child soldiers he traverses the war-ravaged country, dodging death at the hands of competing rebel factions in the bush, angry mobs in the capital city of Kinshasa, and even the rebel-turned-dictator Laurent Kabila himself.

The Rebels’ Hour thrusts us into Assani’s world, forcing us to navigate the chaos of a lawless country alongside him, compelled by an instinct to survive in a place where human life has been stripped of value. Though pathologically evasive, Assani--in Joris’s horrifying and brilliant zoom-lens portrait--stands out in relief as a man who is both monstrous and sympathetic, perpetrator and victim.

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