Sunday, September 26, 2010

Book Review: The Enough Moment: Fighting to end Africa's Worst Human Rights Crimes

Title The Enough Moment: Fighting to End Africa's Worst Human Rights Crimes
Author John Prendergast
Rating ****
Tags non-fiction, africa, darfur, congo, rape, genocide, child soldiers 

This is the second book by John Prendergast, who has worked on human rights issues for over 25 years, and actor Don Cheadle, whose interest in the conflicts in Africa increased when he played the lead character in the movie Hotel Rwanda.

The book is about creating "enough" moments for each person - the moment when a person says, "this is enough, I'm going to do something about this situation". The situations they emphasize in the book are the genocide in Darfur, the abduction of children to be soldiers and/or sexual slaves, and the use of rape as a weapon of war. A lot of the book concerns Congo, where millions have died, millions more displaced, and many, many women raped repeatedly, often left with physical damage and unwanted babies.

The book can be very hard to read, because it talks about horrors that equal those perpetrated by the Nazis. Yet while portraying the very worst humans are capable of, it also tells many stories about the best of humanity. People who have been victims of terrible evil yet are not only surviving, they are determined to help others and do. There are also stories of people who have not been victims, but when hearing of the atrocities have done something, whatever they can, to help the situation.

Almost all of us bear some responsibility for these atrocities, as much of the conflicts are over access to minerals that go in our laptops and cell phones. So one thing that most of us could do is to encourage companies that manufacture electronics to use conflict-free minerals.

It is also a practical book, in that it lists things that each of us could do to help the situation. One I liked a lot is to write letters to some of the women who have been raped, then rejected by their families. Hearing from someone who cares can mean a lot in their lives. At the end of the book is a list of resources, organizations that are doing practical things to improve the situation.

Visit to find out more and learn what actions to take.

Other authors:
Author – Cheadle, Don
Publication Three Rivers Press (2010), Edition: Original, Paperback, 304 pages
Publication date 2010
ISBN 0307464822 / 9780307464828


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