“[The Rebels’ Hour] achieves intense intimacy with a few characters to represent a much more immense historical experience. . . . It is as deeply reported and directly observed as the very best nonfiction.” Philip Gourevitch, The New Yorker
The Rebels' Hour
978-0-8021-4421-8 • $15.00 • Paperback • Mar. 2010
Lieve Joris has long been considered “one of the best journalists in the world . . . following in the footsteps of Herodotus as well as Ibn Khaldoun or Ryszard Kapu´sci´nski” (Libération, France). In The Rebels’ Hour, she illuminates the dark heart of contemporary Congo through the prism of one lonely and complicated mana rebel leader named Assani who eventually becomes a highranking general in the Congolese army.
When Assani, a young cowherd, leaves his remote eastern 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 genocide in neighboring Rwanda. Strong, clever, and trusting of no one, he becomes a fearsome rebel leader. With his expanding cadre of child soldiers he traverses the war-ravaged country, repeatedly 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, Assaniin Joris’s horrifying and brilliant zoom-lens portraitstands out in relief as a man who is both monstrous and sympathetic, perpetrator and victim.