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Mountains beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the Worldby Tracy Kidder
Beautifully told, and entirely inspiring, Mountains Beyond Mountains is an exceptional look at the heroic life of Dr. Paul Farmer. Providing health care for hundreds of thousands in a remote, impoverished region of Haiti, Farmer's incomparable dedication brings change not only to the lives he touches directly, but to the efficacy of health care around the globe. Tracy Kidder compellingly proves that one person can make a difference, in this case in Herculean ways. Why read about a pioneering doctor out to change the world? It will change your outlook on humanity and move you to evaluate your place within it.
Synopses & Reviews
Tracy Kidder is a winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the author of the bestsellers 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." 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."
"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." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
"[A] skilled and graceful exploration of the soul of an astonishing human being." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
"A fine writer and his extraordinary subject: Tracy Kidder, in giving us Paul Farmer, lifts up an image of hope — and challenge — that the world urgently needs. Simply put, this is an important book." James Carroll, author of Constantine's Sword
"A profoundly inspiring and important book about one of the truly great men of our time." Ethan Canin, author of Carry Me Across the Water
"Saints are notoriously difficult people, but who knew one could be so funny, so utterly charming, and finally so deft in accomplishing that most impossible of all job descriptions — changing the world? Tracy Kidder's spellbinding story presents us with an unlikely saint and finally, with inspiration so compelling it makes the usual cynicism about global change seem indulgent foolishness." Patricia Hampl, author of A Romantic Education
"An incredible story about an incredible man told by an incredible writer. Mountains Beyond Mountains is the sort of book that makes you want to buy a hundred copies and pass them out like a street corner evangelist. It's the sort of book that will affect your life in a profound way. In a good way." Thom Jones, author of The Pugilist at Rest
"On every page, I wondered whether Farmer was going to be meek and gentle, as he often is with his patients, or whether he was going to turn his wrath on me, the reader. To the very end, Farmer made me nervous." Washington Post
"Mountains Beyond Mountains is inspiring, disturbing, daring and completely absorbing. It will rattle our complacency; it will prick our conscience." New York Times Sunday Book Review
"In this masterpiece, Kidder will take you so deep into their journeys that you can almost feel the oppressive Haitian heat." USA Today
About the Author
Tracy Kidder has won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the Robert F. Kennedy Award, among other literary prizes. The author of The Soul of a New Machine, House, Among Schoolchildren, Old Friends, and Home Town., Kidder lives in Massachusetts and Maine.
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