126: Do-Gooders

126: Do-Gooders

Apr 9, 1999
Stories of people trying to do good: Why they often fail and why they occasionally succeed.
  • Modern-day fables of two different kinds of do-gooders during and after the 1994 genocide in the African country of Rwanda. Philip Gourevich, author of the book We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will be Killed With Our Families: Stories from Rwanda, tells first about international relief workers who served as "caterers" to some of the Hutu powers as they continued their policy of ethnic cleansing after fleeing to refugee camps. Then he tells the story of a more effective do-gooder: A hotel owner in Kigali who saved hundreds of lives by keeping a fully stocked bar that Hutu officials liked to frequent, by bribing officials, and by using the international phone lines. In Gourevich's description, he's a lot like Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca, self effacing, friendly with evildoers, and very effective. (18 minutes) DeathGovernmentHistoryMurderPolitics

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