Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer,

Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World ➸ [Reading] ➺ Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World By Tracy Kidder ➭ – Thomashillier.co.uk This powerful and inspiring 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 itTra Mountains: The ePUB ☆ This powerful and inspiring 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 itTracy Kidder is a winner of Mountains Beyond PDF/EPUB or 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 Balti Sun as the master of the non fiction narrative This powerful and inspiring new book shows how one person can Beyond Mountains: The ePUB ´ 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 itAt 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 UN 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.


10 thoughts on “Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World

  1. Will Byrnes Will Byrnes says:

    Dr Paul Farmer is many things, world expert on AIDS and Tuberculosis, patient care physician extraordinaire, founder of a ground breaking health care facility in Haiti, consultant to Anti TB programs in Peru and Russia, author of several books and countless articles, husband, father, and, maybe, saint He has sympathy for liberation theology and a core understanding of the significance of Voodoo He is a remarkable character, someone who is making a difference, doing paradigm altering work in t Dr Paul Farmer is many things, world expert on AIDS and Tuberculosis, patient care physician extraordinaire, founder of a ground breaking health care facility in Haiti, consultant to Anti TB programs in Peru and Russia, author of several books and countless articles, husband, father, and, maybe, saint He has sympathy for liberation theology and a core understanding of the significance of Voodoo He is a remarkable character, someone who is making a difference, doing paradigm altering work in treatment of Multi Drug Resistant TB MDR and AIDS Kidder traces Farmer, as a professional and as a person, illuminating the path Farmer followed from the eccentric life his family led when he was growing up to his medical education, discovery of Haiti and growth as a professional It is an inspirational tale, one that every cynic should read.What remains an unsolved mystery is what it is that made Paul Farmer the person he is Many other people have crossed paths with desperation yet not brought such inner resolve to the battle Why Paul Farmer As the Who asked of Tommy What makes him so good After reading the book, I still do not know What is the core source of a passion for caring Although he subscribes to some sort of religious outlook, Farmer is no one s idea of a holy roller One question that is raised is how organizations that are so strongly based on remarkable individuals can persist when the individual is no longer personally involved Have Farmer s institution building talents been as successful as his medical acumen Time will tell In the meantime, how can we clone this guy The book is a fast, engaging and enjoyable read Hopefully, for some, it will be inspirational


  2. Miguel Miguel says:

    I am not really sure where to begin when it comes to this book Let us just say that Tracy Kidder writes a mean biography account of perhaps one of the most influential people of our Generation iPod big box stores time This book really encapsulates what I imagine Paul Farmer s credo is that is to say, fuck the idea of appropriate technology, sustainability and cost effectiveness this is human suffering that we are flapping our tongues aboutget real Sheer eloquence I knowI am sure that I am not really sure where to begin when it comes to this book Let us just say that Tracy Kidder writes a mean biography account of perhaps one of the most influential people of our Generation iPod big box stores time This book really encapsulates what I imagine Paul Farmer s credo is that is to say, fuck the idea of appropriate technology, sustainability and cost effectiveness this is human suffering that we are flapping our tongues aboutget real Sheer eloquence I knowI am sure that this appeals to many a PCV out there and particularly Health Volunteers because it advocates and condones what we feel every time we run into Djeneba who is sick with Sumaya or Traore Chekoroba who s got Amoebic dysentery,that wish I could ease your suffering feeling , part of it can very well be empathy, because I know a great deal of us have been in similar situations while in country But it always seems to me,empathy never gets us anywhere with out the proper training or funds to make a true difference in people s lives I imagine Dr Farmer would probably say that that feeling was half an accomplishment, the rest comes laterYet, Paul Farmer realizes the healing of suffering on what seems every scale, from the creation of health policy at the highest echelons of international bodies to the curing of the individual sick right in their very homes Reading this made me feel inspired and motivateddon t mean to gush too much though, people might start to think I am kissing both the author s and Paul Farmer s culo.Also I believe this book has given me the inclination to read others like it, whether it be novels with strong social commentary Graham Greene to papers that describe the tenets of liberation theology So if any of you rapscallions out there have any books to recommend, please shoot those suggestions my way


  3. Elyse Walters Elyse Walters says:

    Update this is another book that I read before I joined Goodreads I still own it and it s a treasure It s a Kindle special 1.99 today I m only mentioning it because sometimes people are looking for one of those great books that they ve missed.at a great price to boot this is one of them EXCELLENT. read it along time ago it inspired me


  4. Sarah Sarah says:

    For anyone who yearns to make a difference but feels overwhelmed at where to start, this book will inspire you, maybe even shock you Doctor Paul Farmer decided at the age of 23 to devote his life to treating the poor He established a clinic in one of the most impoverished parts of Haiti called Zanmi Lasante Over the next twenty years, he treated not just the poor in Haiti, but expanded to treat the poor in Peru and prisoners in Russia, leading efforts to address impossible diseases like m For anyone who yearns to make a difference but feels overwhelmed at where to start, this book will inspire you, maybe even shock you Doctor Paul Farmer decided at the age of 23 to devote his life to treating the poor He established a clinic in one of the most impoverished parts of Haiti called Zanmi Lasante Over the next twenty years, he treated not just the poor in Haiti, but expanded to treat the poor in Peru and prisoners in Russia, leading efforts to address impossible diseases like multi drug resistant TB and AIDS His attitude from the beginning has been the current way s not working I ll do it my way When he first encountered the corrupt and ill run Haitian clinics, he decided, I m going to build my own fucking hospital And there ll be none of that there, thank you At an international AIDS conference in South Africa where a banker commented that Africans must learn to curb their sexual appetites, Farmer responded, I want to talk about other bankers, not the World Bankers, but bankers in general My suspicion is they re not getting a lot of sex, because they spend a lot of time screwing the poor Farmer allows one to believe that one can follow one s heart AND be effective Of course, he hadthan ideals He also has a medical degree from Harvard and a level of commitment few of us can even imagine He still makes house calls to the poor in Haiti, trekking for hours up and down mountains He loves Lord of the Rings and maybe this is what inspires him But now, vivified in this book, he s a symbol to inspire others There s so much to take away from his story For me, it speaks largely to the power of purpose and a commitment to action in the name of that purpose Ignoring those who would question and discourage, the Are you sure that s a good idea questions and trust one s inner bidding We are all so well trained in being cynical, in doubting But if we want change, we have to bring something of our own to the table to believe in And start focusing our energy on that, not on the crap that already exists that we don t like Farmer has done that and it s really, really worked


  5. bruin bruin says:

    in my opinion our construction of heroes in this world leaves a lot to be desired and while paul farmer might indeed being doing incredible work with an incredible attitude perspective, i tired quickly of this book s idolation and unquestioning worship this is not how we will createheroes among ourselves and others this is precisely how people like dr king have been removed from the people and pedastalized to the detriment of our movements and our visions for change.get a grip tracy in my opinion our construction of heroes in this world leaves a lot to be desired and while paul farmer might indeed being doing incredible work with an incredible attitude perspective, i tired quickly of this book s idolation and unquestioning worship this is not how we will createheroes among ourselves and others this is precisely how people like dr king have been removed from the people and pedastalized to the detriment of our movements and our visions for change.get a grip tracy kidder and drop the holier than thou personifications


  6. Cait Cait says:

    I lived on the Dominican Republic Haiti border for a few years as a child, so the initial description in this book of how Haiti is fucked doesn t come as a surprise I mean Just about everything that could possibly go wrong on the road to becoming a self sustaining country has just been ripped from them ASK ME MY FEELINGS ON THE LATEST COUP THERE AGH, AGH, OH MY GOD, AGH Haiti fucked CHECK The book then goes on to describe the life and training of Paul Farmer Paul Farmer, who managed to I lived on the Dominican Republic Haiti border for a few years as a child, so the initial description in this book of how Haiti is fucked doesn t come as a surprise I mean Just about everything that could possibly go wrong on the road to becoming a self sustaining country has just been ripped from them ASK ME MY FEELINGS ON THE LATEST COUP THERE AGH, AGH, OH MY GOD, AGH Haiti fucked CHECK The book then goes on to describe the life and training of Paul Farmer Paul Farmer, who managed to commute to the clinic he was running in rural Haiti while in medical school On an apparently weekly monthly VERY OFTEN basis As some one who is contemplating medical school I kind of hope to cook some of my own meals, while studying Perhaps I will play a game of soccer or two in the four years I spend hunched over textbooks, but my mind is completely blown by the idea of maintaining practical work in a foreign country while taking classes LET ALONE GETTING A PHD CONCURRENTLY I honestly can hardly wrap my head around it Paul Farmer the kind of great hearted genius we hold up as an example, but do not actually emulate CHECK I am coming to terms with the fact that this review is all about me, me, me This is the kind of work I want to do, this preferential option for the poor that Kidder details in this book This is absolutely what I want to do, but I reached the half way point in this book You know, the point at which this tiny three person single man funded non profit takes on multi drug resistant TB in Peru totally discouraged Evidently, it takes super human commitment, brains, understanding, courage, gumption and craziness to take on the worlds ills I can t be that person Honestly, I don t even want to be that person.That isn t what the book is saying, obviously, but that s absolutely what I was reading The book goes on to talk about the expansion of the crusade against MDR in Russian prisons, the expansion of the Haitian clinic now with operating theater and it was interesting, if ultimately discouraging Then I got to this line, where Paul Farmer is frustrated at some student email and says I m paraphrasing I m the model for what needs to be done, not for how to do it I am really not sure how I managed to miss that, three quarters of the way through the book, but the sigh of relief when I finally, finally figured it out was profound Of course this isn t the only way to do it It here being leveling the playing field of medicine, or caring for the poor, or being a decent human being in the world, or some combination thereof But it s important, and it needs to be done, and there s really no excuse for not being part of it Mountains Beyond Mountains Depressing, but wildly inspirational for a wanna be rural doctor CHECK.I finished this book sitting backstage for the dress rehearsal of the show I m in and I could hardly go on and talk about atomic energy It is a book exactly written for me, and this was the exact moment to read it


  7. Catherine Catherine says:

    I wish I had known Paul Farmer, the subject of this book s adoration, spoke at Columbia s commencement ceremony this past May At that time, I had never heard of him If I had known, I would have gone and been able to see first hand who he is Mountains Beyond Mountains is neither biography nor non fiction, but isa commentary on the author s time spent with Dr Paul Farmer It briefly browses through his life story very unusual upbringing, extremely well educated genius, quirky but char I wish I had known Paul Farmer, the subject of this book s adoration, spoke at Columbia s commencement ceremony this past May At that time, I had never heard of him If I had known, I would have gone and been able to see first hand who he is Mountains Beyond Mountains is neither biography nor non fiction, but isa commentary on the author s time spent with Dr Paul Farmer It briefly browses through his life story very unusual upbringing, extremely well educated genius, quirky but charismatic personality It also browses through each of the projects Dr Farmer has been involved in TB and later AIDS in central Haiti, TB in Peru and Russia.Like too many quasi biographies I ve read, this one glorifies its subject while simultaneously de personifying him I have no idea what Dr Paul Farmer is really like, but now at least I can imagine that he s a heroic, driven, relentless, brilliant, caring, wonderful doctor and advocate for the poor around the world The author may want us to believe that Farmer is completely selfless, and perhaps he is, but I must admit that in his appearance, personality, and actions, the description of Farmer in this book reminded me most of Ayn Rand s perfect, ideal egoist hero I wish I could know what he is really like, because people like the man idolized by this book don t exist.Perhaps I should have read this by choice instead of because it was assigned Perhaps I should have read it before spending two months in Guatemala instead of after Perhaps I should have read it in a single afternoon which is perfectly feasible it s a decent read instead of spread over 10 days But I just couldn t get into it because I felt the whole time that I was being sold a vision that I don t share Whatever problems there may be with world wide health, a lotcould be accomplished by everyone doing a little than by one man driving himself beyond all reasonable limits.My overall view an interesting narrative of Dr Farmer and his ideas and work around the world, but not one that I d choose to read again for fun


  8. Rose Rose says:

    Mountains Beyond Mountains is a biography of Dr Paul Farmer, a Harvard educated physician who, in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, set out to bring life saving, first world medical practices to the desperately poor in rural Haiti This book has almost become essential reading for those who have even the most cursory interest in fields often referred to as global health, social medicine, or public health.Paul Farmer is a unique doctor who seems genuinely called to a life of service t Mountains Beyond Mountains is a biography of Dr Paul Farmer, a Harvard educated physician who, in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, set out to bring life saving, first world medical practices to the desperately poor in rural Haiti This book has almost become essential reading for those who have even the most cursory interest in fields often referred to as global health, social medicine, or public health.Paul Farmer is a unique doctor who seems genuinely called to a life of service to the poor He grew up in an unusual family and environment and is undoubtedly a brilliant man While an undergrad at Duke he first visited Haiti and this experience changed him profoundly During medical school at Harvard, he spent half his time working in a clinic on the island Later, he had the good fortune to meet a Boston millionaire who, over the course of a couple decades, has given nearly his whole savings to Farmer to use in Haiti and various other countries where Farmer s organization, Partners in Health PIH , sponsors community medical projects He was also surrounded by several close friends who have also dedicated their lives to Paul and his vision one of whom was Ophelia Dahl, daughter of British author Roald Dahl, who plays a fascinating part in the story I wish the book told usabout her.I think a reader can safely say that Farmer is a visionary He saw the shocking state of healthcare in rural Haiti and dreamed of raising the standard of care in that area Since then, he has devoted his life to building a sustainable healthcare network in the Cange and erradicating the area of infectious diseases long since cured in the first world Haitians hardly experience an equitable standard of care to what we have in the United States, and perhaps never will, but this hasn t stopped Farmer from trying For example, the most rampant infectious disease in the Cange was tuberculosis TB , which was expensive to treat because of a low supply of pricey first line drugs The drug companies didn t make many of these drugs because there was little to no demand for them by those who could afford to pay Farmer and PIH worked to convince the drug companies to increase the supply and drop the prices, while simultaneously convincing the World Health Organization WHO to purchase and distribute the supply and treat those in impoverished countries who were suffering from a treatable disease This was no easy task, but PIH proved to the world that it is possible to successfully provide the poor with quality medical care.The book is painfully long but, I think, ultimately worth the struggle I applaud the author, Pulitzer Prize winner Tracy Kidder, for taking on such an enormous subject The book breaks down medical terminology and practice, while also tackling some pretty enormous political and social issues And as if that were not enough, Farmer himself is a larger than life character Half the time I can t tell if Kidder loves him or loathes him, and Kidder himself probably doesn t even know Farmer s life is inspiring because he has accomplished so much in very little time But at the same time, the man is no saint, despite the fact that people regularly call him such to his face He is absolutely infuriating He seems to have an answer to everything At one point, Kidder writes several pages about the language of PIH, which incorporates unique acronyms, words, and made up phrases Kidder explains that one could hang around the inner circle of PIH for a long time without understanding what the rules were and feeling excluded Kidder 217 Famer responds that If so, it s surely the most inclusive damn club in the world, being full of people with AIDS, WL s galore, tons of students, church ladies, lots of patients, and it s a club that grows and never shrinks 217 Sure, Farmer has a memorable response ready, but it s total bullshit If you weren t in PIH, you wouldn t know that WL s stands for white liberals, a group upon which he reluctantly relies for funding and regularly mocks Farmer preaches humility, but says things like Every account is partial except mine 252.What seems most tricky about Paul Farmer, however, is that his model for building PIH and creating large scale community health projects is not replicable, but he has become one of world s most sought after experts in global health What I mean is that, when starting PIH, Farmer happened to have a non restricted, ready supply of cash from a generous private donor, a truly rare situation for a non profit start up company with no established organizational structure When the money ran out, he stole medical supplies from Boston s most wealthy hospitals He literally stole hundreds of thousands of dollars in medications For a good cause Sure What this proves is that sometimes the people with power don t need a little push, but need to be shoved off a cliff, to make the world change But how can someone who built a medical treatment program around theft lecture others on building sustainable global health projects I m sure Farmer would have a memorable response to my complaint, something that made me feel like a real jerk and used some cryptic acronyms to make me feel excluded from his inner circle But these complexities are what make him so provocative and, thus, the subject of a biography worth reading


  9. Gary the Bookworm Gary the Bookworm says:

    We want to be on the winning team, but at the risk of turning our backs on the losers, no, it is not worth it So we fight the long defeat Paul Farmer, Mountains Beyond Mountains The Quest of Dr Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World Reading Tracy Kidder s engrossing portrait of Dr Paul Farmer, a doctor and anthropologist, I came to understand that the above words weren t meant to be pessimistic or sentimental, they were simply a way of explaining the resolve which animates his extrao We want to be on the winning team, but at the risk of turning our backs on the losers, no, it is not worth it So we fight the long defeat Paul Farmer, Mountains Beyond Mountains The Quest of Dr Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World Reading Tracy Kidder s engrossing portrait of Dr Paul Farmer, a doctor and anthropologist, I came to understand that the above words weren t meant to be pessimistic or sentimental, they were simply a way of explaining the resolve which animates his extraordinary efforts on behalf of his patients A brief glance at the titles of a few of Dr Farmer s books gives you a sense of his worldview and his penchant for pithy alliteration AIDS and Accusation Haiti and the Geography of Blame Infections and Inequalities The Modern Plagues Pathologies of Power Health, Human Rights, and the New War on the Poor Haiti After the Earthquake.This is a man who believes with all his heart that the idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that is wrong with the world and that a social justice approach should be central to medicine and utilized to be central to public health.the well should take care of the sick Kidder spent a great deal of time with Farmer He accompanied him on hospital rounds in Boston, Siberia and, particularly in Haiti, Farmer s home of choice, partly because it was and is so neglected and needy which included day long hikes across rugged terrain on house calls to assess living conditions as part of a patient s treatment plan They shared grueling transcontinental flights for a brief meeting on behalf of Partners in Health, a global health organization founded by Farmer and Kidder came to an understanding of Farmer which goes far beyond admiration There is a great deal to savor in his ode to this marvel of medicine who would cure the world His prose is provocatively persuasive I think Farmer taps into a universal anxiety and also into a fundamental place in some troubled consciences, into what he calls ambivalence, the often unacknowledged uneasiness that some of the fortunate feel about their place in the world, the thing he once told me he designed his life to avoid One of the many ironies is that Farmer s own childhood was anything but privileged His family lived for years in a converted bus or on a boat captained by an unconventional father who knew almost nothing about maritime navigation Reading about this heroic man may not change your life, but, at the very least, it may lead you to reconsider many myths about the origins of poverty, and its devastating consequences when it comes to basic health care access


  10. HBalikov HBalikov says:

    One person can make a difference Kidder finds another superb subject for examination Should be a great book for discussion Dr Farmer is not one dimensional, but he is almost mono maniacal in his dedication Kidder is not afraid to give us enough to consider whether the ends justify the means A well told story that, with luck, will inspire others to similar dedication.


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