When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, the U.S. had less than a one year supply of rubber. Critical rubber had to come from somewhere—it was Brazil. Brazilians have long believed the U.S. never paid for the critical rubber. This book proves the U.S. did pay for the rubber and contributed to the building of infrastructure in the Amazon.
Gary J. Neeleman traveled to Brazil as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in southern Brazil. Later Neeleman returned as a journalist and rose to vice president of United Press International over Latin America. He covered some of the most significant years in Brazil’s modern political history. In 2016, Neeleman was awarded the Rio Branco Medal by the Foreign Ministry; the highest award given by the Brazilian Government, and in 2015, he was awarded the Cididao Paulistano (Honorary Citizen of São Paulo} for his work with Brazilians over fifty years. He has been the Honorary Consul of Brazil in Utah for eighteen years.
Rose M. Neeleman had the challenge of raising seven children in a foreign country but also of supporting and accompanying her husband in one of the most complex areas of the world. Neeleman became fluent in Portuguese and authored many articles on Brazil and community education in the Third World. She has spoken to varied groups throughout the hemisphere. They have thirty-six grandchildren, and twenty-seven great-grandchildren, many of them with dual Brazilian and U.S. citizenship. The couple has authored ten books, including award-winning Rubber Soldiers: The Forgotten Army that Saved the Allies in WWII and Tracks in the Amazon.