Mountains Beyond Mountains

Fri 19 Nov 2010 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

Goodreads has added (maybe it was there all along, who knows?) a thing making it easy to post reviews to other sites. So here’s a book I read recently and thought anyone reading this might enjoy:

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

Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World by Tracy Kidder
5/5 stars

This book has come in and out of our house a couple of times in the last few years and for some reason I never got down to reading it. Which is silly as I think Partners in Health (PIH) is one of the most excellent organizations around. So at some point I picked it up and it was as good as promised. It was fascinating to see how long Tracy Kidder followed Paul Farmer et al around. Sometimes the book was like peeking over PIH’s shoulder into the behind-the-scenes work that’s never shown in the glossy emails (that doesn’t sound right but it gives the right feel I get from some nonprofits’ emails) and print materials.

Reading about Farmer in action, on the plane in his rumpled suit, negotiating with the World Health Organization, working at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, hiking to patients in Haiti, and much more, was humbling. Looking at PIH’s latest updates they recently opened the first NICU in Haiti—where they’re working on the cholera epidemic, too—and they are working in Rwanda, Russia, Lesotho, Haiti, here in Boston, Mexico, Guatemala, Malawi, and Burundi. Farmer must be flying a lot more these days.

This is an excellent read from the Farmer family’s peripatetic beginnings to the inner workings and difficult choices that any organization must face. Read, pass it on.

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