Mountains Beyond Mountains
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Profound and powerful, Mountains Beyond Mountains takes us from Harvard to Haiti, Peru, Cuba and Russia, as the charismatic but flawed genius Dr Paul Farmer challenges widely-held preconceptions about poverty and healthcare.As a medical student, Farmer found his life's calling: to cure infectious diseases and to bring the lifesaving tools of modern medicine - so readily available in the developed world - to those who need them most. Beginning in Haiti, he tackles the conditions that contribute to so many unnecessary deaths with his trademark combination of world-class expertise, unlimited compassion, and the unstinting dedication of friends and colleagues. Tracy Kidder's magnificent and moving account shows how, from achieving this modest dream, one person can make a difference in solving global problems through a clear-eyed understanding of the interaction of politics, wealth, social systems and medicine.
Profound and powerful, Mountains Beyond Mountains takes us from Harvard to Haiti, Peru, Cuba and Russia, as the charismatic but flawed genius Dr Paul Farmer challenges widely-held preconceptions about poverty and healthcare. As a medical student, Farmer found his life's calling: to cure infectious diseases and to bring the lifesaving tools of modern medicine - so readily available in the developed world - to those who need them most. Beginning in Haiti, he tackles the conditions that contribute to so many unnecessary deaths with his trademark combination of world-class expertise, unlimited compassion, and the unstinting dedication of friends and colleagues. Tracy Kidder's magnificent and moving account shows how, from achieving this modest dream, one person can make a difference in solving global problems through a clear-eyed understanding of the interaction of politics, wealth, social systems and medicine.
“[A] masterpiece . . . an astonishing book that will leave you questioning your own life and political views . . . Kidder opens a window into Farmer’s soul, letting the reader peek in and see what truly makes the good doctor tick.”—Nicholas Thomas, USA Today In medical school, Paul Farmer found his life’s calling: to cure infectious diseases and to bring the lifesaving tools of modern medicine to those who need them most. Tracy Kidder’s magnificent account shows how one person can make a difference in solving global health problems through a clear-eyed understanding of the interaction of politics, wealth, social systems, and disease. Profound and powerful, Mountains Beyond Mountains takes us from Harvard to Haiti, Peru, Cuba, and Russia as Farmer changes people’s minds through his dedication to the philosophy that “the only real nation is humanity.” Praise for Mountains Beyond Mountains “A true-to-life fairy tale, one that inspires you to believe in happy endings . . . Its stark sense of reality comes as much from the grit between the pages as from the pure gold those pages spin.”—Laura Claridge, Boston Sunday Globe “Stunning . . . Mountains Beyond Mountains will move you, restore your faith in the ability of one person to make a difference in these increasingly maddening, dispiriting times.”—John Wilkens, The San Diego Union-Tribune “Easily the most fascinating, most entertaining and, yes, most inspiring work of nonfiction I’ve read this year.”—Charles Matthews, San Jose Mercury News “It’ll fill you equally with wonder and hope.”—Cathy Burke, People “In this excellent work, Pulitzer Prize-winner Kidder immerses himself in and beautifully explores the rich drama that exists in the life of Dr. Paul Farmer. . . . Throughout, Kidder captures the almost saintly effect Farmer has on those whom he treats.”—Publisher’s Weekly (starred review) “[A] skilled and graceful exploration of the soul of an astonishing human being.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
This compelling and inspiring book, now in a deluxe paperback edition, shows how one person can work wonders. In Mountains Beyond Mountains, Pulitzer Prize—winning author Tracy Kidder tells the true story of a gifted man who loves the world and has set out to do all he can to cure it. In medical school, Paul Farmer found his life’s calling: to cure infectious diseases and to bring the lifesaving tools of modern medicine to those who need them most. Kidder’s magnificent account 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.” 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 a force of gathering revelation,” says Annie Dillard, and Jonathan Harr notes, “[Paul Farmer] wants to change the world. Certainly this luminous and powerful book will change the way you see it.” From School Library Journal Adult/High School-Thought-provoking and profoundly satisfying, this book will inspire feelings of humility, admiration, and disquietude; in some readers, it may sow the seeds of humanitarian activism. As a specialist in infectious diseases, Farmer's goal is nothing less than redressing the "steep gradient of inequality" in medical service to the desperately poor. His work establishing a complex of public health facilities on the central plateau of Haiti forms the keystone to efforts that now encompass initiatives on three continents. Farmer and a trio of friends began in the 1980s by creating a charitable foundation called Partners in Health (PIH, or Zanmi Lasante in Creole), armed with passionate conviction and $1 million in seed money from a Boston philanthropist. Kidder provides anecdotal evidence that their early approach to acquiring resources for the Haitian project at times involved a Robin Hood type of "redistributive justice" by liberating medical equipment from the "rich" (Harvard) and giving to the "poor" (the PIH clinic). Yet even as PIH has grown in size and sophistication, gaining the ability to influence and collaborate with major international organizations because of the founders' energy, professional credentials, and successful outcomes, their dedicated vision of doctoring to the poor remains unaltered. Farmer's conduct is offered as a "road map to decency," albeit an uncompromising model that nearly defies replication. This story is remarkable, and Kidder's skill in sequencing both dramatic and understated elements into a reflective commentary is unsurpassed. Lynn Nutwell, Fairfax City Regional Library, VA Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. From The New England Journal of Medicine Paul Farmer is a 44-year-old specialist in infectious diseases and an attending physician at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. His biographer, Tracy Kidder, read his book on the connections between poverty and disease -- Infections and Inequalities -- and wrote to him, "I'm reading your oeuvre." "Ah, but that's not my oeuvre," Farmer replied. "To see my oeuvre you have to come to Haiti." Indeed, Farmer founded a hospital and health center, Zanmi Lasante, in Cange, Haiti, hours from the capital and at the end of a gutted road in a region destitute even by Haiti's standards, as part of an extensive community-based health network linked to a hospital, Clinique Bon Sauveur (see Figure). For more than 20 years, Farmer has spent many months every year there, often taking care of patients himself and continually improving the treatments offered by the clinic. These now include antiretroviral drugs. Lasante is supported by a foundation based in Boston called Partners in Health, which is headed by Ophelia Dahl and largely financed by Tom White, the philanthropic owner of a large Boston construction firm. There is more. Through his patients in Cange, Farmer became interested in multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. From Haiti, he exported treatment of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis to Peru and then to Siberia, achieving cure rates comparable to those in the United States. Through the Institute for Health and Social Justice (the research and education division of Partners in Health) and his associate Jim Yong Kim, he started a movement to lower prices for the second-line drugs necessary to treat resistant tuberculosis and successfully lobbied the World Health Organization for changes in treatment recommendations for tuberculosis. Readers may have heard some of this story before (Farmer has received a MacArthur award and the American Medical Association's Dr. Nathan Davis Award) and may have wondered, as I did, where he came from and how one man could accomplish so much. Kidder traces Farmer's trajectory, starting with his unconventional childhood, which included living in a bus and on a leaky boat. He was given a scholarship to Duke, where he majored in anthropology and worked alongside poor Haitian farm workers in North Carolina's tobacco fields. After graduation he spent a year in Haiti, where he met Ophelia Dahl, and then went to Harvard Medical School. While in medical school and during his residencies and fellowships, he spent more time in Cange than in Boston. How does Farmer do it? Kidder provides some explanations: he works nonstop, hardly sleeps, sees his wife and child for a day or so every few months, inspires an uncommon degree of devotion and enthusiasm among collaborators and potential donors, and tolerates planes and airports for days on end. In addition, the Boston medical establishment has bent rules and regulations to accommodate his needs. Convincing? Maybe. There remains something miraculous about Paul Farmer. Should one go out and buy Mountains beyond Mountains? By all means. Not only it is it an enjoyable book, but it is also very likely that a part of the $25.95 spent in purchasing it will find its way back to Haiti. That is more than can be said about many books. In addition, readers looking for a worthwhile charity to support may be inspired to send some money to Partners in Health. Bernard Hirschel, M.D. Copyright © 2003 Massachusetts Medical Society. All rights reserved. The New England Journal of Medicine is a registered trademark of the MMS.
Mountains, one of nature's greatest masterpieces, in their rugged beauty, breathtaking views from the top, clear air, green pastures, mountain lakes and glaciers, have captivated mankind all along. Climbing mountains or just gazing at their majestic splendor causes us to slow down and contemplate, maybe even giving us a little serenity. Photographer Tim Hall beautifully captures the powerful solace of mountains in his images. He often chooses to shoot in dramatic weather, making his work and the photographed mountains look even more stunning and transcendent. The intention to strike an emotional or spiritual chord is evident in much of his landscape work, which is inspired by Rothko and Turner. The influence of painting in his work stems from his studies of art history at Manchester University. Mountains - Beyond the Clouds presents the extensive Alpine mountain range, including famous landmarks such as the Mont Blanc, the Matterhorn, and the Dolomites.
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY: Los Angeles Times • San Francisco Chronicle •Chicago Tribune • The Christian Science Monitor • Publishers Weekly In Strength in What Remains, Tracy Kidder gives us the story of one man’s inspiring American journey and of the ordinary people who helped him, providing brilliant testament to the power of second chances. Deo arrives in the United States from Burundi in search of a new life. Having survived a civil war and genocide, he lands at JFK airport with two hundred dollars, no English, and no contacts. He ekes out a precarious existence delivering groceries, living in Central Park, and learning English by reading dictionaries in bookstores. Then Deo begins to meet the strangers who will change his life, pointing him eventually in the direction of Columbia University, medical school, and a life devoted to healing. Kidder breaks new ground in telling this unforgettable story as he travels with Deo back over a turbulent life and shows us what it means to be fully human. BONUS: This edition contains a Strength in What Remains discussion guide. NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Named one of the Top 10 Nonfiction Books of the year by Time • Named one of the year’s “10 Terrific Reads” by O: The Oprah Magazine “Extraordinarily stirring . . . a miracle of human courage.”—The Washington Post “Absorbing . . . a story about survival, about perseverance and sometimes uncanny luck in the face of hell on earth. . . . It is just as notably about profound human kindness.”—The New York Times “Important and beautiful . . . This book is one you won’t forget.”—Portland Oregonian
Samira and her brother flee when the Turkish army invades northwestern Persia in 1918, but the director of the orphanage where they end up decides to lead the refugee children on the three-hundred-mile journey back to their homes.
"Dr. Paul Farmer is one of the most extraordinary people I've ever known. Partner to the Poor recounts his relentless efforts to eradicate disease, humanize health care, alleviate poverty, and increase opportunity and empowerment in the developing world. It will inspire us all to do our parts."--William J. Clinton "If the world is curious about Paul Farmer, there is a reason for that. No one has done more than he has in bringing modern medicine to the poor across the globe and no one has exceeded him in making us appreciate the diverse barriers that prevent proper medicine from reaching the underdogs of the world. In this wonderful collection of essays, putting together Paul Farmer's writings over more than two decades, we can see how his far-reaching ideas have developed and radically enhanced the understanding of the challenges faced by healthcare in the uneven world in which we live. This is an altogether outstanding book."--Amartya Sen, Nobel Laureate, Economics "To delve into these pages is to join one of the world's great explorers on an epic life journey--to grapple with culture, poverty, disease, health care, ethics, and ultimately our common humanity in the Age of AIDS. Paul Farmer is a pioneer, guide, and inspiration at a time of unprecedented contrasts: between wealth and poverty, power and powerlessness, health and disease, compassion and neglect. His medical expertise, anthropological vision, and unflinching decency have helped to recharge our world with moral purpose."--Jeffrey D. Sachs, Columbia University "Wow! Perfect for teaching. This is more than vintage Farmer. Editor Haun Saussy knows Farmer's work inside out and has assembled and organized 25 classic articles that project the heart of Farmer's brilliant, radical, inspiring, eminently practical and (dare I say) genuinely subversive work."--Philippe Bourgois, author of Righteous Dopefiend "If they gave Nobel Prizes for raising moral awareness, Paul Farmer would have won his a long time ago. For several decades now, his work has posed a challenge to anyone who dares say that radically improving the health of the world's poor can't be done. This splendid compilation of the best of his work allows us to follow a restless, creative, compassionate mind in action, in and out of prisons and barrios and mud huts and hospital wards, from Haiti to Rwanda to Moscow, never taking 'no' for an answer."--Adam Hochschild, author of Bury the Chains "Paul Farmer is a deep scholar of Haitian society, a formidable medical anthropologist, an implacable theorist of structural violence and health as a human right, and an ethicist for whom the place of social justice in medicine and in the world is an existential need. This book is the platform of interconnected intellectual, academic, and practical engagements upon which the amazing, world-transforming life of Farmer stands."--Arthur Kleinman, author of What Really Matters: Living a Moral Life amidst Uncertainty and Danger "This collection shows the impressive catalytic effects of original scholarship when combined with action, activism, and a commitment to social justice in health. Paul Farmer and his PIH colleagues have twice changed World Health Organization policies; they continue to have a lasting impact on the global health movement and on the lives of the poor.--Peter Brown, Emory University
“Paul Farmer, doctor and aid worker, offers an inspiring insider's view of the relief effort.”—Financial Times “The book's greatest strength lies in its depiction of the post-quake chaos… In the book's more analytical sections the author's diagnosis of the difficulties of reconstruction is sharp.” —Economist “A gripping, profoundly moving book, an urgent dispatch from the front by one of our finest warriors for social justice.” —Adam Hochschild “His honest assessment of what the people trying to help Haiti did well—and where they failed—is important for anyone who cares about the country or international aid in general.” —Miami Herald