For further information or to schedule an interview, contact:
Susannah Greenberg, Public Relations, at 212-208-4629 or publicity@bookbuzz.com

 

 

 

 

My father used his passion and gift for medicine to make a difference during the postindependence chaos of an emerging African state and in the years that followed. A unique story told by a unique man.

--Glen Close

 

 

Attention: Journalist/Producer/Editor/Reviewer

Subjects: Congo, Elections in; History; Medicine; Book News

 

Announcing the Publication of:

Beyond

the Storm:
Treating the Powerless and the Powerful
in Mobutu's Congo/Zaire

by William T. Close, M.D
with Malonga Miatudila, M.D., M.P.H.

 

Published by Meadowlark Springs Productions.
Distributed to the trade by Midpoint.

     $25.95. (372 p). Hardcover.
With photos. ISBN 0970337140
Publication date: October 2006

 

"It takes courage -- of the heartbreaking kind -- to write as honestly as Bill Close has, both about himself and about the man whom he knew first as a friend and only later as Mobutu the dictator." -- Alexandra Fuller, best-selling author of Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood

 

"Bill Close has a profound understanding of the African people. His new book has the ability of making one of Africa's monsters, Mobutu, comprehensible if not likeable. Beyond the Storm establishes Bill’s reputation as a superb storyteller."-- Daniel H. Simpson, U.S. Ambassador to Zaire/Democratic Republic of Congo, 1995-1998. Associate Editor, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Toledo Blade

 

INTERVIEW: Dr. William Close spent 16 years practicing medicine in Africa, was chief doctor of the Congolese Army and personal physician to Zaire's President Mobutu Sese Seko. He was in Zaire during the terrifying 1976 Ebola outbreak and helped organize the effort to stop Ebola then.

 

Dr. Close has been featured in national media including People, Daily Variety, The New Yorker, and USA TODAY. He is the author of three books: Ebola: Through the Eyes of the People, A Doctor's Life: Unique Stories, and Subversion of Trust. Ebola was a Ballantine Books bestseller with 240,000 copies sold.

 

"Ebola is an eloquent, gripping, and beautiful account of the real doctors, nurses, and victims who lived and died during that harrowing nightmare."

-- RICHARD PRESTON, Author of The Hot Zone

 

INTERVIEW: Dr. Malonga Miatudila earned a master's in Public Health from Tulane University. For fifteen years, he was a Public Health Specialist at the World Bank, and now devotes his time as an adviser to individuals and organizations active in the areas of public health and international development.

IN BRIEF ABOUT THE BOOK:

 

Let my book, Beyond the Storm, serve as a vaccination against the poison of power, says Dr. Close. His book tells the story of the power of power to corrupt under the Mobutu reign in the Congo. It draws on his past as chief doctor of the Congolese Army and personal physician to Zaire's President Mobutu Sese Seko.

 

Beyond the Storm: Treating the Powerless and the Powerful in Mobutu's Congo/Zaire will provide readers with a well-informed and in-depth look at past medical and political challenges that continue to resonate in today's Democratic Republic of Congo (D.R.C.).

 

The revolutions, rebellions, mutinies, coup d'état, and economic disasters that marked the first fifteen years of the country's independence are the subject of Beyond the Storm.

 

The book will help the readers understand the present crisis and threatening storms, as the results of the July 30, 2006 elections, the first free elections in 40 years, are still being tallied.

 

MORE ABOUT THE BOOK:

 

The colonel's great-aunt sat cross-legged on the carpet with her mouth wide open. With a gnarled finger, she pointed down her throat. A fishbone peeked over the base of her tongue and was easily retrieved. The old woman and the colonel were delighted. The doctor was relieved. This episode was the first of many that led Dr. Bill Close toward becoming the physician and friend to many, including the colonel who became president and then dictator of the Congo.

 

Beyond the Storm details Close's extraordinary experiences during the uncontrollable human storms that crashed repeatedly in the Congo after independence. In July of 1960 chaos erupted when Belgium turned over power to Patrice Lumumba, the first elected prime minister, but kept the keys to the nation's prodigious mineral wealth. Two men, Colonel Joseph Désiré Mobutu, the newly appointed army chief of staff, and William T. Close, M.D., volunteer surgeon in the general hospital, met, and their lives became intertwined during the next sixteen years.

    • "Beyond" is defined as something that lies outside the scope of ordinary experience.
    • Bill Close responded to opportunities to make a difference and relieve suffering.
    • Mobutu's decline into institutionalized corruption reached its first climax in 1976. Dr. Close saw the handwriting on the wall and returned home to the U.S.

 

SUGGESTED INTERVIEW QUESTIONS/TALKING POINTS:

    1. What are the likely post-election scenarios in the Congo? If Kabila wins? If Bemba wins?
    2. What are the imminent dangers? Internal conflicts between East and West Congo? Violence?
    3. What are the main issues facing the Congolese now?
      • Abject poverty
      • Security for the people from violence and extortion
      • Aids
      • Healthcare
      • Infrastructure
    4. Democratic government and free elections
    5. What lessons should have been learned from the Mobutu regime which you were there to witness?
    6. What parallels and differences do you see?

"From his unique perspective on the events in Congo/Zaire in the 60s and 70s, Dr. Close has fashioned an important book that has a poignant relevance to public health affairs in Africa today. His first-hand observation of the effects of power and corruption speak clearly to today's readers as he charts measurable success in a career very few others could have endured." Audrey Bullar, Health & Well-being Team Leader, Joseph Beth Booksellers, Rookwood Pavilion

For further information,
CONTACT:

Susannah Greenberg Public Relations
Phone/Fax: (212) 208-4629
publicity@bookbuzz.com
http://bookbuzz.com

Or at Meadowlark Springs Productions,
Susan Lehr, (307) 276-5454, SusanL@wyoming.com