All Things Must Fight to Live: Stories of War and Deliverance in Congo

Bryan Mealer, Author . Bloomsbury $24.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-59691-345-5

In 1996 the brutal civil war in Rwanda spilled into neighboring Congo, triggering a conflict that has seethed for 12 long years, claimed more lives than any since WWII and received little acknowledgment or aid from the international community. AP correspondent Mealer spent three years in this shattered land, and his book is a perceptive, empathetic, stomach-twisting presentation of the human condition during chaos. Mealer depicts war and peace as “the mighty arms of a hurricane”; war hurtles thousands of terrified people into the bush; intermittent peace lures the “lost ones” home. Individuals and institutions, indigenous and Western alike, are overwhelmed by the confluence of political collapse, economic disintegration, international indifference and a generalized military ineffectiveness that prevents resolution of the conflict on any terms. The vivid vignettes of combat and its aftermath portend a “forever war,” and the author highlights the impotence of grassroots solutions that render any “deliverance” ephemeral at best. Mealer's book is a quiet paean to the courage he has witnessed, and its final salute to “the many proud people of Congo” is as much eulogy as affirmation. (May)

Reviewed on: 02/25/2008
Release date: 00/00/0000
Paperback - 310 pages - 978-1-59691-626-5
Open Ebook - 978-1-60819-667-8
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