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The Primeval Forest

The Primeval Forest

Author(s): Albert Schweitzer

Location(s): Gabon

Genre(s): Autobiography/Memoirs

Era(s): 1913

“There, in this sorry world of ours, goes a great man.”-Albert Einstein, on Albert Schweitzer In July of 1913, thirty-eight-year-old medical doctor Albert Schweitzer gave up his position as a respected professor at the University of Strasbourg and celebrated authority on music and philosophy in order to go as a physician to French Equatorial Africa (present-day Gabon). The Primeval Forest is Schweitzer’s own fascinating story of these eventful years-a thrilling tale of his amazingly successful attempt to practice modern medicine and surgery in the face of wild elephant raids, marauding leopards, famine, an flood-a story rich in human interest and high drama. Schweitzer describes how he and his wife, a qualified nurse, worked to establish a hospital in the steaming jungle at Lambaréné. At first they treated patients in the open air, amid unbelievably primitive conditions-with few drugs, medicines, or adequate instruments. But they worked tirelessly, caring for as many as forty cases a day, battling the misery caused by sleeping sickness, leprosy, pestilence, and plague. And, as the years went on, they gradually built a more permanent hospital to alleviate the terrible suffering of the Congo people. “Here, in Dr. Schweitzer’s own words, is the inspiring and unforgettable account of his years in Africa; his thrilling jungle adventures, and his amazing experiences in bringing modern medicine and surgery to the French Congo. The record of Schweitzer’s day-by-day experience is told so vividly that a responsive reader cannot fail to relive these stirring events.”-Richmond Times-Dispatch

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