Rwandan Genocide
The Essential Reference Guide
by Alexis Herr, Editor
April 2018, 319pp, 7 x 10
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-5560-3
$103, £80, 90€, A142
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-5561-0
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

The 1994 Rwandan Genocide, in which Hutu extremists murdered nearly one million people in less than 100 days, continues to resonate in Rwanda, Africa, and international politics.

This important reference work offers students an accessible overview of the Rwandan Genocide, with more than 100 detailed articles by leading scholars on an array of topics and themes and 20 key primary source documents.

Tracing the history of Rwanda prior to, during, and after German and Belgian colonization of Rwanda through the present day, this invaluable resource scrutinizes the historical events that determined how and why the Rwandan Genocide occurred and discusses the memory, history, and legacy of the atrocity both within and outside of Rwanda. Designed to suit the needs of students both new to and advanced in the subject, this reference work provides readers with a thematic overview of the Rwandan Genocide, an accessible analysis of the national and international complexities that drove it, and more than 100 in-depth entries on topics related to the genocide.

Encyclopedic entries profile key perpetrators, rescuers, and witnesses as well as religious, political, and nonprofit groups, which, in combination with entries on judicial proceedings and the United Nations, offer readers a multifaceted understanding of Rwanda, the genocide, and its aftermath. To help learners to engage with the historical and social contexts of this atrocity, the book also contains 20 curated primary source documents and six perspective essays, in which scholars debate key questions regarding the genocide.


  • Elucidates the many factors, from economic motivations to international malaise, that contributed to the Rwandan Genocide
  • Profiles male and female perpetrators who led, participated in, and planned the genocide
  • Highlights the stories of Rwandan and foreign heroes who risked and, in some cases, lost their lives to save others
  • Sketches the many complexities that help explain why the United Nations and the international community at large failed to stop the atrocities
Alexis Herr, PhD, is a lecturer at San Francisco State University and the University of San Francisco. She is editor of Rwandan Genocide: The Essential Reference Guide and author of The Holocaust and Compensated Compliance in Italy: Fossoli di Carpi, 1942–1952. She has taught courses at Keene State College and Northeastern University on comparative genocide studies and mass violence. Her work has been supported by the Pearl Resnick Postdoctoral Fellowship in Advanced Shoah Studies, the European Historical Research Infrastructure Fellowship, and the Holocaust Educational Foundation Fellowship. She holds a doctorate in Holocaust history from Clark University.


"The book, edited by Holocaust scholar Alexis Herr, is a useful entry-level reference resource guide for undergraduate students. . . In all, I think entry-level undergraduate students will find the volume useful."—ARBA, February 4, 2019
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