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Journalist and author Gary Neeleman to speak about trilogy of books on Brazil-U.S. Relations


As part of the Knight Center Speaker Series, journalist and author Gary Neeleman will discuss the trilogy of non-fiction books he and his wife Rose Neeleman wrote about U.S.-Brazil relations from the years after the U.S. Civil War to WWII.

In “The Stars and Bars,” Neeleman tells the story of U.S. Confederates who traveled to Brazil following the U.S. Civil War upon request from Emperor Dom Pedro and eventually established a cotton industry in the area. With “Tracks in the Amazon,” the author looks at the harsh lives of construction workers of the Madeira-Mamore Railroad, essential for the region’s rubber export industry. And “Rubber Soldiers” presents the story of 55,000 men from northeastern Brazil sent to harvest rubber from the Amazon basin to aid the Allies in WWII.

Gary Neeleman spent 27 years with United Press International, seven of them as a correspondent based in São Paulo, Brazil. He was selected by UPI for this post due to his years serving in Parana, Santa Catarina and São Paulo as a missionary with the LDS Church. During those years as a foreign correspondent, Neeleman covered three Brazilian presidents as well as the 1964 Brazilian military coup. He traveled with dignitaries like U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower and revolutionaries Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. After serving various posts at UPI, including senior vice president and general manager for Latin America and the Caribbean, Neeleman joined the Los Angeles Times Syndicate International. He was with the syndicate for 17 years, including as executive vice president. In addition to his four non-fiction books, he also co-authored a historical novel, “Farewell My South,” about U.S. Confederates who migrated to Brazil. He is currently Honorary Consul of Brazil for the State of Utah, as well as president and owner of Neeleman International Consulting.

The screening and Q&A are part of the Knight Center Speaker Series from the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas in the Moody College of Communication at the University of Texas at Austin.




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