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Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World Paperback – Aug 31 2004


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Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World + To Repair the World: Paul Farmer Speaks to the Next Generation + Pathologies of Power: Health, Human Rights, and the New War on the Poor
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks; Reprint edition (Aug. 31 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812973011
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812973013
  • Product Dimensions: 20.1 x 13.2 x 2.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 295 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,121 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Six years after the fact, Dr. Paul Edward Farmer reminded me, "We met because of a beheading, of all things." Read the first page
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By alex goodman on May 5 2004
Format: Hardcover
The book Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder has left me with a new found appreciation for people such as Dr. Paul Farmer who put their own lives behind the lives of others. Although lengthy at times the message was still very powerful. I found this book to be a true inspiration. The writer exposed the harsh reality of the conditions in Haiti, Peru, Cuba, and Russia. His graphic descriptions allowed the reader to feel like they had walked in Dr. Farmer's shoes for a short while and were honored to have done so. This book was both insightful and moving.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jess B on July 28 2013
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent book. One I've read and reread numerous times and shared with many friends.
Paul Farmer is a brilliant, witty man and a passionate crusader for health care for all.
Tracy Kidder's writing makes for an easy and informative read.
I'd recommend this book to anyone interested in public health, the social determinants of health or how to be a better global citizen.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lori on June 11 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is Tracy Kidder's chronicle of Paul Farmer's ongoing quest to wake our consciousness to the plagues coming out of third world poverty and to shake us into recognizing the suffering of our fellow humans around the globe. Paul Farmer is a super-hero on the front lines of infectious disease, attacking drug-resistant TB in Haiti, Peru and the prisons of Russia. His global fight for funding for AIDS and TB treatment has gained his organization Partners in Health huge grants from the MacArthur, Gates and Soros foundations. Farmer backs down from no obstacles in his quest to bring health care, one patient at a time, to the poorest and most down-trodden patients on earth.
A natural leader, his influence has drawn nations together in
their fight against poverty, hunger and disease. This is the most important story Tracy Kidder has told. Farmer's constant questioning of why some individuals need so much wealth, when most of the world goes hungry, is not an easy thing to take.
Should be required reading for high school seniors.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Patricia Kramer on March 25 2004
Format: Hardcover
Read this book and be ready to have your assumptions jarred and to think again about what is possible for one man to accomplish.
Our society is based on always going for the win. Dr. Farmer works outside that parameter. He doesn't expect to win. "We want to be on the winning team, but at the risk of turning our backs on the losers, no, it's not worth it. So you fight the long defeat." "I don't care if we lose, I'm gonna try to do the right thing...And then all the victories are gravy, you know?"
"The best thing about Paul Farmer is those hikes." Dr. Paul Farmer walks four hours to do a home visit for one child. He had already cured the child, but the child is part of a system, a family and home. The system also has to be treated for the child to stay well. "You have to believe that small gestures matter, that they do add up."
That to me was the most amazing thing about this book. Farmer travels the world raising money, speading the word of the need for treatment of drug resistant TB, setting up programs in other countries, yet he always comes back to the most important thing of treating one person at a time and improving their individual surroundings.
Farmer doesn't play by the rules, doesn't wait for approval or outside help, he works non-stop and is grateful when help arrives. As other reviewers have suggested, contributions sent to Paul Farmer will be used for the nitty gritty, no high paid executives here.
As an aside, this book is interesting reading currently due to the recent events in Haiti.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Gitano on June 21 2004
Format: Hardcover
You may think he is crazy, or a commie, or a dreamer but you have to admire Paul Farmer. I think most likely he is a truly good genius. Alot of WLs (white liberals) talk the talk but his guy walks the walk, about a million miles of it. He is sort of a Mother Theresa + doctor + scientist. Sure he may come off as abrupt or self righteous from time to time but I believe this guy really does care for the downtrodden of the world. If you were inspired by this book as I was consider making a donation to his organization, Partners in Health, which is what I did as soon as I read the last page.
The book itself is somewhat superficial in it's analysis of Farmer. I am concerned about his family, for instance, and his daughter having a long distance dad. I'm not sure how he reconciles this. I guess Gandhi had the same issue. I think Kidder did an OK job though and I would not fault him for his introspection as other reviewers have.
All in all a solid uplifting book that makes you feel good about mankind.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Caldwell on May 13 2004
Format: Hardcover
The work of Paul Farmer and the conditions in the world that motivate him are presented in a compelling eye-opening narrative that makes a good read.
However, the reader is not sure if this is a Tracy Kidder journal about a Tracy Kidder life experience or a biography about Paul Farmer. In the two other Kidder books I read and loved (Soul of a New Machine and House), there was no Kidder, just wonderfully interwoven narrative and factual background. In Mountains, Kidder keeps intruding in the first person, and I find it distracting. And, if one is to assume that there was an editorial decision to include Kidder at the expense of something else, WHERE is Farmer's wife Didi and daughter Catherine? We hear about a one-night stopover from Haiti to Russia and a vague reference to summers together in Haiti. If that's all there is, then surely Farmer and Didi must have some feelings about this. I would have much rather seen some of the book devoted to this than Tracy Kidder's fitness level when hiking the central highlands. And without more on that personal side of Farmer, we are left with too much of Kidder's observations and conclusions, and not enough with which to get our own full, emotionally complete portrait. I kept looking in the back for a couple of more chapters.
That criticism aside, Kidder is an author who always deserves attention, and has focused his attention on a truly remarkable man and story. I do recommend this book, and just allow myself the fantasy of being the editor and demanding a bit more Farmer and family and a bit less Kidder.
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