David Rawson capped his twenty-eight-year career in the US Foreign Service as ambassador to Rwanda (1993–95) and to Mali (1996–99). After his retirement from the Foreign Service, he was a professor of political economy at Spring Arbor University, a distinguished visiting professor of politics at Hillsdale College, and a scholar in residence at George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon.
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David Rawson draws on declassified documents and his own experiences as the initial US observer of the 1993 Rwandan peace talks at Arusha to seek out what led to the Rwandan genocide. The result is a commanding blend of diplomatic history and analysis of the crisis and of what happens generally when conflict resolution and diplomacy fall short.