Another Fine Mess: America, Uganda and the War on Terror. (Columbia Global Reports 2017)

In this powerful account of Ugandan dictator Yoweri Museveni’s 30 year reign, Helen Epstein chronicles how Western leaders’ single-minded focus on the War on Terror and their naïve dealings with strongmen are at the root of much of the turmoil in eastern and central Africa.

“A stunning new book of reportage and analysis.” — Pankaj Mishra, Bloomberg View

“Very accessible and richly detailed.” – Africa is a Country


The Invisible Cure: Why We Are Losing the Fight Against AIDS in Africa. FSG 2007/Picador 2008

The Invisible Cure is an account of Africa’s AIDS epidemic from the inside–a revelatory dispatch from the intersection of village life, government intervention, and international aid. Helen Epstein left her job in the US in 1993 to move to Uganda, where she began work on a test vaccine for HIV. Once there, she met patients, doctors, politicians, and aid workers, and began exploring the problem of AIDS in Africa through the lenses of medicine, politics, economics, and sociology. Amid the catastrophic failure to reverse the epidemic, she discovered a village-based solution that could prove more effective than any network of government intervention and international aid, an intuitive response that calls into question many of the fundamental assumptions about the AIDS in Africa.

A New York Times Notable Book of 2007