review: mountains beyond mountains

Title: Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World

Author: Tracy Kidder

Genre: biography, nonfiction

Form: paperback

Recommended: yes

Thoughts: Dr. Farmer works to provide medical care to the rural poor in Haiti, is a doctor of infectious disease in Boston, a Harvard professor, and works to change modern medicine’s view of treating the diseases of the poor. Kidder spent a lot of time with Dr. Farmer as they travelled the globe, walked mountains in Haiti, and corresponded extensively. It is from this perspective that Kidder tells Dr. Farmer’s story. I once heard someone say that this book is annoying because it makes Dr. Farmer out to be hero – someone impossible to emulate and yet you are left feeling like you should be trying. I think that person was slightly right, and that annoyance means that it is worth reading because there is something worth learning, pieces of life worth living, that are contained in this book. So, be inspired and be annoyed all at once.

One Reply to “review: mountains beyond mountains”

  1. Ah – but there is this great line in that book from Farmer’s mouth (I’d find it, but my copy is lent out) about how no one should copy him because no one is him (not in an arrogant way – just a humble way – this is the path that works for him). Everyone should find his or her own way. I loved the line – it freed me to simply appreciate Dr. Farmer…

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