In All Things Must Fight to Live, Bryan Mealer takes readers on a harrowing two-thousand mile journey through Congo, where gun-toting militia still rape and kill with impunity. Amidst burnt-out battlefields where armies still wrestle for control, into the dark corners of the forests, and along the high savanna, where thousands have been slaughtered and quickly forgotten, Mealer searches for signs that Africa's most troubled state will soon rise from ruin.
At once illuminating and startling, All Things Must Fight to Live is a searing portrait of an emerging country facing unimaginable upheaval and almost impossible odds, as well as an unflinching look at the darkness that continues to exist in the hearts of men. It is non-fiction at its finest-powerful, moving, necessary.
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 \x93the mighty arms of a hurricane\x94; war hurtles thousands of terrified people into the bush; intermittent peace lures the \x93lost ones\x94 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 \x93forever war,\x94 and the author highlights the impotence of grassroots solutions that render any \x93deliverance\x94 ephemeral at best. Mealer's book is a quiet paean to the courage he has witnessed, and its final salute to \x93the many proud people of Congo\x94 is as much eulogy as affirmation.