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Author of the acclaimed "Stringer, " praised by Jon Stewart as "a remarkable book about the lives of people in the Congo," Anjan Sundaram returns to Africa for a piercing look at Rwanda, a country still caught in political and social unrest years after the genocide that shocked the world. "Bad News" is the story of Anjan Sundaram's time teaching a class of journalists in Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda. The current Rwandan regime, which seized power after the genocide in 1994, is often held up as a beacon of progress and is the recipient of billions of dollars each year in aid from Western governments. Underpinning this shining vision of a modern orderly state, however, is a powerful climate of fear springing from the government's brutal treatment of any voice of dissent. "You cannot look and write," a policeman tells Sundaram as he takes notes at a political rally. As Sundaram's students are exiled, imprisoned, recruited as well-paid propagandists, and even shot, he tries frantically to preserve a last bastion of debate in a country where the testimony of the individual is crushed by the ways of thinking prescribed by Paul Kagame's dictatorial regime. A vivid portrait of a country at an extraordinary and dangerous place in its history, "Bad News" is a brilliant and urgent parable on the necessity of freedom of expression and what happens when that freedom is seized.
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