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Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder

Mountains Beyond Mountains (2003)

by Tracy Kidder

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I'd like to save the world, too. So I'm glad he's got the energy to cover me. lol

Paul Farmer is a Harvard-trained doctor/anthropologist who specializes in infectious diseases and has a passion for bringing medical treatment to the poor. He first developed an affection for Haiti and determined to bring health care to Haitian poor, opening clinics, providing TB treatment, and even making house calls. He founded Partners in Health, which expanded to bring TB treatment to Peru and Russia. All this while still maintaining his practice in Massachusetts.
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  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
Paul Farmer's dedication to his mission to provide medical care to impoverished communities is admirable and is a worthy topic for a book. The first half of the book held my interest; the latter portion really dragged. Many years ago I read Tracy Kidder's book "House" which I enjoyed quite a lot. I was disappointed that this book did not hold my interest nearly as well. ( )
  Cricket856 | Jan 25, 2016 |
Loved it. I never did know much about health management and the bigger players in global health. Not only has Kidder provided a sketchy intro to how global health actually operates (at least on 2 issues), for good in its capability of programming as well as for all the stodgy, burdened bureaucratic stops along the way, he's also provided readers with an insider's description of a fascinated, impassioned, eccentric doctor whose lifelong dedication and passion for treating health maladies and improving the social conditions which exacerbate or encourage illnesses has made an impact for hundreds of thousands around the world. As well, Kidder has described the struggles and growth of a non-profit group from a 4-person project to a global organization that consistently addresses health and inequality issues all over the world. Dr. Paul Farmer has inspired me and reminded me to seriously take notice, care and action about the world that exists outside our small city suburbs, sometimes even around the corner. ( )
  cjazzlee | Nov 13, 2015 |
Excellent book. Kidder invested a lot of time and effort on this research. Farmer comes across as half saint and half super man. Haitians depicted as real people. Narrator absolutely fabulous!! ( )
  kaulsu | Aug 6, 2015 |
Summary: This book follows the life of Dr. Paul Farmer, a man who grew up in a bus in rural areas of Alabama and Florida. Though this was the beginning of his life, Farmer did not let it define his future and pursued an education in Medical Anthropology at Duke University and later received his medical degree from Harvard. There Farmer found his calling: curing infectious diseases in impoverished areas of the world. Farmer believes that impoverished areas are stuck in these states because of power dynamics present worldwide that keep the rich at the top and those suffering at the bottom. It is this belief that pushes farmer in all he does and this book follows his life, development, and current goals for not only himself, his organization, but also the people he loves and helps. He aspired to listen and learn from those who had nothing and help them receive the resources to cure their sick, feed their hungry, and build towards a better future. Farmer focused his research in rural areas of Haiti and eventually founded the national organization called Partners In Health. Different from traditional health systems, this group helps support impoverished areas but teaching locals how to support their communities while also bringing in supplies and money from richer parts of the world. Farmer strives to help all in need no matter their location, health, or financial situation.

Recommended for students who are interested in international health care but also those who are not confident in their futures. Farmer had limited resources at a young age and did not plan for his future until later in his life. This novel reminds students that they have the ability to change their path and that the future is not set in stone.
  OHIOCLDC | Jun 29, 2015 |
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''Mountains Beyond Mountains'' is inspiring, disturbing, daring and completely absorbing. It will rattle our complacency; it will prick our conscience.
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Beyond mountains there are mountains.
--Haitian proverb

. . . And right action is freedom
From past and future also.
For most of us, this is the aim
Never here to be realized;
Who are only undefeated
Because we have gone on trying . . .
--T. S. Eliot
"The Dry Salvages"

For Henry and Tim Kidder
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Six years after the fact, Dr. Paul Edward Farmer reminded me, "We met because of a beheading, of all things."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0812973011, Paperback)

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" - 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.”

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:04 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

A portrait of infectious disease expert Dr. Paul Farmer follows the efforts of this unconventional Harvard genius to understand the world's great health, economic, and social problems and to bring healing to humankind.

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