Fighting Smallpox in Africa amid Tribalism, Terror and the Cold War

Spider - First-person

Be among the first to read, or hear, this story of battling a virus in a time and place cut off from journalistic reporting.


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Another virus. Another pandemic. And in a climate of sociopolitical upheaval. Go behind the lines in the heroic war of human vs. microbe, even as naive ideas of life in international service are chipped away.

Join me first in a country that was always in the news and then in one that should have been. The first, Nigeria. If people hadn’t cared about Africans killing Africans, they did care about starving Biafran babies. The images sped around 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. Release date should be in the next six months.


Right here. 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. Read excerpts. And Read my articles. Or book me to speak.

And you can donate here to help get this book published, and help again by sharing the link with your network.

“Bee Bloeser’s story reads like a political thriller, women’s history, and African adventure rolled into one….she brings insight and humor to a dark tale of disease, corruption and genocide that unfolds around her, her husband, and their two small children. Riveting.” Pamela Alexander, Pulitzer Prize-nominee.


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