×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

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

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

4.0 7
by Bryan Mealer
 

See All Formats & Editions

A foreign correspondent's gripping account of his experiences in Congo, told through the long scope of the country's dark and brutal history.
After covering a brutal war that claimed four million lives, journalist Bryan Mealer takes readers on a harrowing two-thousand-mile journey through Congo, where gun-toting militia still rape and kill with impunity. Amid

Overview

A foreign correspondent's gripping account of his experiences in Congo, told through the long scope of the country's dark and brutal history.
After covering a brutal war that claimed four million lives, journalist Bryan Mealer takes readers on a harrowing two-thousand-mile journey through Congo, where gun-toting militia still rape and kill with impunity. Amid burned-out battlefields, the dark corners of the forests, and the high savanna, where thousands have been massacred and quickly forgotten, Mealer searches for signs that Africa's most troubled nation will soon rise from ruin.
At once illuminating and startling, All Things Must Fight to Live is a searing portrait of an emerging country devastated by a decade of war and horror and now facing almost impossible odds at recovery, as well as an unflinching look at the darkness and greed that exists in the hearts of men. It is nonfiction at its finest—powerful, moving, necessary.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Former Associated Press correspondent Mealer recalls four unnerving years in Congo. In 2003, the author was a freelance reporter in Kenya, striving to find noteworthy stories he could sell to American publications. His search was mostly in vain, until the AP's Nairobi bureau chief suggested a trip to Congo, where a fearsome clash between the Hema and Lendu tribes had just led to many hundreds of deaths. Mealer's subsequent stint in Congo forms the backbone of his potent memoir. From the moment he arrived, it was clear that the country was collapsing into chaos. The author pulls no punches in describing the sights that flickered before his eyes from his bases in Kinshasa and Bunia, or in retelling gut-wrenching stories related to him by the residents of towns decimated by violence. In Mudzipela, he talked to people who had witnessed beheadings, bodies chopped into pieces and even a man feasting on human remains. He muses on the vast differences between his own life and the lives of the Congolese, whose incredible stoicism in the face of monumental slaughter was something he never really adjusted to. Mealer occasionally returned home during his tenure, and brief passages about his life in Brooklyn provide an effective contrast. The author frequently mentions the respite both he and the locals found in music: the Congolese in Kinshasa's ever-present live performances, "brash and thumping and spilling down the street at four a.m."; the author in headphones clasped firmly over his ears at night to drive away the day's horrors. The book takes a sudden, unexpected turn in its final pages with a lengthy account of Mealer's trip aboard a rickety old train through the southern province of Katanga,a journey in search of hope and signs of rebuilding in this battle-scarred country. Gutsy, richly descriptive recollections effectively conjure grisly events in a troubled nation. Agent: Heather Schroder/ICM
From the Publisher

“Mealer is a gifted writer who reports his harrowing experiences with humility and humanity” —Greg Houle, African Update

“Goes a long way toward making the phrase "dark continent" the anachronism that it should be.” —Minneapolis CityPages

“With her quirky humour and incredibly witty aside jokes, Diane Kelly has created a real winner and a star for her debut book in her "Death and Taxes" series. Kelly's plot is filled with belligerent and bad ass characters and dicey situations that will keep you turning the pages to see how it all turns out.” —Fresh Fiction

“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'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.” —Publishers Weekly

“Bryan Mealer has put his life on the line to bring us a story of terror and courage from the heart of Congo. It's already an accomplishment just to go to such a place; to return with such a powerful and important story is rare indeed. Both as a journalist and as a reader, my hat's off to Mealer.” —Sebastian Junger, author of The Perfect Storm

“Gorgeous, heartbreaking, and redemptive. Bryan Mealer has given us a story of a people and a land nearer to our hearts than we know. An immensely honest job of reporting, wonderfully told by a writer who feels as much as he sees.” —Robert Kurson, author of Shadow Divers

“One has to be young and perhaps a touch mad to voluntarily travel, as Bryan Mealer has, by foot, boat, barge, bicycle, rickety airplane, and a train that goes off the rails, through one of the most violent places on earth. But a sane and cautious person would not have been able to bring back the vivid and tragic stories he has, from what is by far the world's bloodiest--and most underreported--zone of conflict.” —Adam Hochschild, author of King Leopold's Ghost

“Five years ago, Bryan Mealer left a comfortable desk job in New York for one of journalism's worst bets: reporting from the harrowing--and virtually forgotten--war zone of the Congo. We are all very fortunate he chose to take that bet. In All Things Must Fight to Live, Mealer endeavors to make sense of the bewildering maze of conflicts that, until recently, tore apart the former Zaire while the outside world did shockingly little to prevent it. Even more important, he has succeeded in putting a human face to the struggles in this troubled corner of Africa, and leaves us with a portrait that is both deeply haunting and surprisingly hopeful. A profound achievement.” —Scott Anderson, author of Moonlight Hotel

“Five years ago, Bryan Mealer left a comfortable desk job in New York for one of journalism's worst bets: reporting from the harrowing--and virtually forgotten--war zone of the Congo. We are all very fortunate he chose to take that bet. In All Things Must Fight to Live, Mealer endeavors to make sense of the bewildering maze of conflicts that, until recently, tore apart the former Zaire while the outside world did shockingly little to prevent it. Even more important, he has succeeded in putting a human face to the struggles in this troubled corner of Africa, and leaves us with a portrait that is both deeply haunting and surprisingly hopeful. A profound achievement.” —Scott Anderson, author of Moonlight Hotel

“Gutsy, richly descriptive recollections effectively conjure grisly events in a troubled nation.” —Kirkus Reviews

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781596916265
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
05/26/2009
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

Bryan Mealer was born in Odessa, Texas, and spent his childhood in West Texas and San Antonio. He graduated with a degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin, and spent time as a city reporter for the Austin Chronicle. He worked as an assistant editor at Esquire magazine in New York City before moving to Nairobi, Kenya, to become a freelance reporter. He later was the Associated Press staff correspondent in Kinshasa, Congo. He now lives in Providence, Rhode Island, and contributes to several magazines.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

All Things Must Fight to Live: Stories of War and Deliverance in Congo 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book startled me with its truth. Intellectually a jewel of a book. Tells us so much we can barely take it all in. A must-read of vital importance.
Julius Rugwiro More than 1 year ago
Good explanationbof miserable life in Congo but also its natural beauty. I can say most political facts are truth exept Rwandan implecation an role in conflict. Its like thw writer is scared to talk about Tutsi attrocities against Congolese and hutus.
Michelle Wells More than 1 year ago
There are several good, first hand accounts - this is not one of them. This book is more focused on the author's experience and feelings rather the people/events in the Congo.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ger1959 More than 1 year ago
Bryan Mealer is one courageous dude. Check out this harrowing memoir; an unbelievably gripping account of his four years spent covering the brutal wars in Congo. This amazing book is an unflinching account of man's inhumainity and a testament to the will of average people as they try to eek out an existence amidst unbelievable suffering, mayhem and destruction. As a career Army officer who has been to Africa and also Iraq and Afghanistan, I am in awe of the amount of courage and tenacity Bryan demonstrated living the events that make this narrative so gripping, moving and utterly unfortgettable.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Bryan Mealer, an editor and journalist for Harper's and Esquire takes us on a journey through the last seven years of the Congo, the nearly unknown and underreported but bloodiest civil war in recent history, where over 4 million people died. The first half of the book nearly breaks your heart as it describes a war of unprecedented savagery that imposed terrible suffering on civilians. The second half describes two journeys of hope against all odds, one up the fabled Congo River and one on the last operating rail line in the Congo. In turns lyrical and profoundly moving, All Things Must Fight to Live is a must-read if you care about Africa, peace and the dignity of each human being. Mealer proves a worthy successor to Joseph Conrad in his beautiful non-fiction narrative. Highly recommended.