Tracy Kidder is a winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the author of the best sellers The Soul of a New Machine, House, Among Schoolchildren, and Home Town. He has been described by the Baltimore Sun as the "master of the non-fiction narrative". This powerful and inspiring new book shows how one person can make a difference, as Kidder tells the true story of a gifted man who is in love with the world and has set out to do all he can to cure it.
At the center of Mountains Beyond Mountains stands Paul Farmer. Doctor, Harvard professor, renowned infectious-disease specialist, anthropologist, the recipient of a MacArthur "genius" grant, world-class Robin Hood, Farmer was brought up in a bus and on a boat, and in medical school found his life's calling: to diagnose and cure infectious diseases and to bring the lifesaving tools of modern medicine to those who need them most. This magnificent book shows how radical change can be fostered in situations that seem insurmountable, and it also shows how a meaningful life can be created, as Farmer - brilliant, charismatic, charming, both a leader in international health and a doctor who finds time to make house calls in Boston and the mountains of Haiti - blasts through convention to get results.
Mountains Beyond Mountains takes us from Harvard to Haiti, Peru, Cuba, and Russia as Farmer changes minds and practices through his dedication to the philosophy that "the only real nation is humanity" - a philosophy that is embodied in the small public charity he founded, Partners In Health. He enlists the help of the Gates Foundation, George Soros, the U.N.'s World Health Organization, and others in his quest to cure the world. At the heart of this book is the example of a life based on hope, and on an understanding of the truth of the Haitian proverb "Beyond mountains there are mountains": As you solve one problem, another problem presents itself, and so you go on and try to solve that one, too.
"Mountains Beyond Mountains unfolds with the force of a gathering revelation," says Annie Dillard, and Jonathan Harr says, "[Farmer] wants to change the world. Certainly this luminous and powerful book will change the way you see it."
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An inspiring story of an inspiring man.
I now have a new hero. The story is well lived and well told. I am inspired to spend more time in communties with the people I want to serve. I was reminded of the best things in life and the greatest (most worthwhile) struggles. The book is truely touching. Farmer is a reasonable man to be considered an ideal.
- Catherine McDonald
A necessary history lesson, also lovely biography
Good narration. Story gets a little drawn out regarding the writer's praise of Dr. Farmer. Overall, the book flowed well, and was very illuminating about public health in Haiti and other areas afflicted by TB outbreaks during that time frame. A story everyone should know about.