People are Saying. . .

Readers of VACCINES & BAYONETS are talking.

“At a time when vaccines are front page news and a deadly pandemic is raging across the globe, Bee Bloeser’s memoir of her family’s role in [smallpox eradication] makes for riveting reading. . .both a captivating family history and a reminder of how public health campaigns are still inextricably intertwined with politics. . . .[it] illustrates how inoculating vulnerable people against a killer virus can be a tool of soft power that builds diplomatic goodwill. . . .”

—Sasha Polakow-Suransky, Deputy Editor of Foreign Policy magazine and author of Go Back to Where You Came From: The Backlash Against Immigration and the Fate of Western Democracy

“Bloeser has written a closely observed and revealing memoir. . .affectionate detail. . . historically important, not least in the light of new, urgent, global efforts to deliver vaccinations to defeat the coronavirus pandemic. . .most remarkable when it recounts living in tropical, isolated and unfortunate Equatorial Guinea. . .This is a sympathetic, vividly told and useful record of an unusually sombre moment in West African history.”

—Adam Roberts, Midwest Correspondent at The Economist, former Bureau Chief Johannesburg and Delhi, author of The Wonga Coup

VACCINES AND BAYONETS is the story of living and working on the front lines of war against a virulent disease–first in Nigeria, and then, in a slowly rising tide of disaster as Equatorial Guinea’s society collapses into a hotbed of suspicion, hatred, and murder.

In the pages of this website, you can glimpse the humor and horror of VACCINES & BAYONETS, a true story that few have ever heard, its Cold War context and its echoes in today’s news. READ EXCERPTS Explore this website. READ MY ARTICLES.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Bee 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 a dark tale of disease, corruption and genocide that unfolds around her, her visionary but practical husband, and their two small children. Riveting.

Pamela Alexander, Pulitzer nominee, Arizona

I just finished reading your manuscript. I am simply blown away by: your detailed writing, your ability to tell this gripping story, the life experiences you had in Africa and the courageous woman you were and are to live there and reach back to tell this story. The writing just got better and better. Your tribute to Carl had me crying….

Ethel Lee-Miller
Enhanced Life Management- Author, Public Speaker, Writing Seminar, Arizona

compelling and very readable….

S.P., London

I loved the book!  I could not put it down.  I appreciated your notes at the end of the book, and I thought your epilogue was perfect.  Thank you so much for letting me read Vaccines & Bayonets! 

Angela E., California

…found [Vaccines & Bayonets: Fighting Smallpox in Africa amid Tribalism, Terror and the Cold War] fascinating, interesting, and educational….will be an eye-opener for many. I appreciate the information at the end…about the more recent chronology of events in Equatorial Guinea. And I’m glad you included references and sources for readers who might like to learn more….

Carolyn D., California

What a privilege to read your memoir. I especially enjoyed your personal, conversational writing style. While I can’t imagine doing what you did, I certainly was drawn in and captivated by the narrative of your experiences…wonderful insight into a period and event in history that I was not familiar with at all, but your personal remembrance has brought it to vivid life.

When your book is published I certainly intend to recommend it to my book club and all of my friends as I am sure they will all enjoy reading it as I have…I hope to hear of a publication date in the very near future so that this book can find a permanent home on my bookshelf.

Judi M., California

There was so much to praise in this book! I loved how vivid the African scenes were, with the markets and the houses and the smells. The last third really escalates in tension, with the [Equatorial Guinea] threats….The tribute to Carl was so moving. That must have been hard to remember and write.

L.C., Arizona