Thursday, December 22, 2011

Recommended Reading: Tracy Kidder's Inspiring 'Mountains Beyond Mountains'

Dr. Paul Farmer is not a household name. He should be.

As described by author Tracy Kidder in this 2003 book, Paul Farmer is "a man who would cure the world." If that sounds overstated, it's not—at least not if you read this inspiring book.

Farmer, we learn, is a highly dedicated—not to say obsessive—physician who has taken on chronic diseases in rural Haiti and other impoverished places. And, as Kidder makes clear, Farmer's efforts have paid off in the lives of thousands and thousands of individual patients.

Mountains beyond Mountains follows the life of Dr. Farmer from his unusual childhood in Florida through his anthropological and medical training at Duke and Harvard to his clinic-building efforts in the wilds of Haiti, a rugged place that gives the book its title.

The story that emerges is a moving portrait of a energetic and visionary man of medicine, a physician who cares deeply about the lives of each of his patients.

As we said, this is an inspiring story. Beyond the man himself, Kidder describes the work of Farmer's organization, Partners in Health, which started on a shoestring and is now a major force in international efforts to combat disease.

In this season of giving and good will toward men, AltTulsa recommends Kidder's book and its subject, Dr. Paul Farmer and Partners in Health. A link to their website is here.

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