SEE WHAT THE DEPUTY EDITOR OF FOREIGN POLICY MAGAZINE, -Sasha Polakow-Suransky, has to say:
“At a time when vaccines are front page news and a deadly pandemic is raging across the globe, Bee Bloeser’s memoir makes for riveting reading. . . .captivating family history. . . .reminder of how public health campaigns are still inextricably intertwined with politics. Today, as superpowers trade blame for the spread of a deadly disease. . . Vaccines and Bayonets illustrates how inoculating against a killer virus builds diplomatic goodwill in the darkest of times. . . .”
THE ECONOMIST‘s Midwest Correspondent, Adam Roberts, says:
” . . .historically important, not least in the light of new, urgent, global efforts to deliver vaccinations to defeat the coronavirus pandemic. . . .This account is most remarkable when it recounts living in unfortunate Equatorial Guinea, a tiny country then enduring the “terror” – the violent rule of a capricious dictator, Macias Nguema. . . . Bee Bloeser’s memoir is a reminder that misrule and fear blighted the country from the start of its modern existence. This is a sympathetic, vividly told and useful record of an unusually sombre moment in West African history.”
AND PULITZER PRIZE-NOMINATED AUTHOR, PAMELA ALEXANDER, HAS THIS TO SAY:
Bloeser’s story reads like a political thriller, women’s history and African adventure rolled into one. An alert witness to a breakthrough in world health, she brings insight and humor to [the dark tale] that unfolds around her. Riveting.
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Another virus. Another pandemic. And in a climate of sociopolitical upheaval. Join me first in a country that was always in the news and then in one that should have been.
The first, Nigeria. If others hadn’t cared about Africans killing Africans, they did care about starving Biafran babies. Images sped round the globe. The second, Equatorial Guinea. Behind the tropical paradise facade, the newly-independent country was in the vise of a bloodthirsty dictator. The world didn’t even know the place existed.
I kept cryptic notes and hid them in the sock drawer. I now reveal a story parts of which were previously spirited to the outside world only by diplomatic pouch.
Through the ages, diseases have often influenced power and politics. Even as the author learns that world powers use disease fighters to do the same–the soft power angle–she knows that global communication and cooperation defeated the killer virus.
Watch for the historical memoir VACCINES & BAYONETS: Fighting Smallpox in Africa amid Tribalism, Terror and the Cold War in March 2021.
While waiting for the book’s release, you can glimpse the humor and horror of a true story that few have heard as you explore the pages of this website. You’ll discover that VACCINES & BAYONETS reverberates in today’s news.
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