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 BaltimoreSun 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 lifes 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 Farmerbrilliant, charismatic, charming, both a leader in international health and a doctor who finds time to make house calls in Boston and the mountains of Haitiblasts 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."
The New York Times
Dr. Farmer does not have anywhere near the name recognition of, say, Albert Schweitzer or Mother Teresa. But if any one person can be given credit for transforming the medical establishment's thinking about health care for the destitute, it is Paul Farmer.
NY Times Sunday Book Review - Abraham Verghese Mountains Beyond Mountains is inspiring, disturbing, daring and completely absorbing. It will rattle our complacency; it will prick our conscience. One senses that Farmer's life and work has affected Kidder, and it is a measure of Kidder's honesty that he is willing to reveal this to the reader.
USA Today - Nicholas Thomas
In this masterpiece, Kidder will take you so deep into their journeys that you can almost feel the oppressive Haitian heat.
Farmer's work is fascinating--as is the author's compassionate portrayal of the lives of the Haitians with whom his subject lives and works; if the book has a flaw, it is that it attempts to cover too much territory.
Booklist - Donna Seaman
Kidder portrays a genuinely inspired and heroic individual, whose quest for justice will make every reader examine her or his life in a new light.
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.
[A] skilled and graceful exploration of the soul of an astonishing human being.
Jonathan Harr, author of A Civil Action
The central character of this marvelous book is one of the most provocative, brilliant, funny, unsettling, endlessly energetic, irksome, and charming characters ever to spring to life on the page. He has embarked on an epic struggle that will take you from the halls of Harvard Medical School to a sun-scorched plateau in Haiti, from the slums of Peru to the cold gray prisons of Moscow. He wants to change the world. Certainly this luminous and powerful book will change the way you see it.
..readers are lucky that Mountains Beyond Mountains The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World has been published, not only because the extraordinary Dr. Farmer deserves the attention, but also because a sensitive and graceful writer like Tracy Kidder has chosen to tell his story. The result is a tale that inspires, discomforts and provokes.
James Carroll, author of Constantine's Sword
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.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Keri Mountains Beyond Mountains Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder is an eye-opening book. You can find it on the “must read,” table at Barnes & Noble. This non-fiction book takes you through the journey of Dr. Paul Farmer’s life. Kidder travels with Farmer and... Read More
Rated of 5
by Nicolas Enthraling Whatever criticism you may have of Farmer, he has been proved correct by recent events. The story is AMAZING, and well-written. Heroes have a right to be self-absorbed.
Rated of 5
by RN Medical mission volunteer Tracking the Messianic Healer While Tracy Kidder does an admirable job of recounting the efforts of Paul Farmer, he also paints a vivid portrait of the messianic personality at work.
Farmer seems incapable of delegating work to others. When he does, he wallows in... Read More
Rated of 5
by Phil Outstanding I just read the other reviews. I'm stunned. What a terrific man Paul Farmer is. Tracy Kidder did a good job. The book asks us to think, not just follow a story.
"watching grass grow..." Good grief.
I think it probably could be a tad more... Read More
Rated of 5
by Tdunk/Tdiz The Big Stanky/Mountains Beyond Mountains The book was not good I'm not going to lie. There was nothing exciting at all about the book and I would rather watch the grass grow.
Rated of 5
by obbe Welcome to the real world This wonderful book shows a compelling picture of someone making change in the world. Both Farmer & Kidder don't lose sight of the different levels in the book. Most superficially, this book is about a gifted, sometimes tortured individual... Read More
The New York Times bestselling author of Complications examines, in riveting accounts of medical failure and triumph, how success is achieved in a complex and risk-filled profession
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