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Product Description

This compelling and inspiring book, now in a deluxe paperback edition, shows how one person can work wonders. In Mountains Beyond Mountains, Pulitzer Prize—winning author Tracy Kidder tells the true story of a gifted man who loves the world and has set out to do all he can to cure it.

In medical school, Paul Farmer found his life’s calling: to cure infectious diseases and to bring the lifesaving tools of modern medicine to those who need them most. Kidder’s magnificent account 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.” 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 a force of gathering revelation,” says Annie Dillard, and Jonathan Harr notes, “[Paul Farmer] wants to change the world. Certainly this luminous and powerful book will change the way you see it.”

Review

“[A] masterpiece.”— USA Today

“Inspiring, disturbing, daring and completely absorbing.”— New York Times Book Review

“Stunning. Mountains Beyond Mountains will move you, restore your faith in the ability of one person to make a difference in these increasingly maddening, dispiriting times. [Kidder has] held his writer’s mirror up to an astonishing comet of a man whose reflection flatters us all for what it says about our capacity for mercy and healing.”— San Diego Union-Tribune

“Easily the most fascinating, most entertaining and, yes, most inspiring work of non-fiction I’ve read this year.”— San Jose Mercury News

“It’ll fill you equally with wonder and hope.”— People

“If I ever go on a retreat again, this is the kind of book I’d like to take for spiritual reading. . . . [Kidder] knows it is impossible to live like Farmer, but the impossibility is the very thing that can somehow give us life.”— Washington Post Book World

“In this excellent work, Pulitzer Prize—winner Kidder immerses himself in and beautifully explores the rich drama that exists in the life of Dr. Paul Farmer…Throughout, Kidder captures the almost saintly effect Farmer has on those whom he treats.”— Publishers Weekly, starred review

“[A] Skilled and graceful exploration of the soul of an astonishing human being.”— Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“A fine writer and his extraordinary subject: Tracy Kidder, in giving us Paul Farmer, lifts up an image of hope–and challenge–that the world urgently needs. Simply put, this is an important book.” -James Carroll, author of Constantine''s Sword

“The central character of this marvelous book is one of the most provocative, brilliant, funny, unsettling, endlessly energetic, irksome, and charming characters ever to spring to life on the page. He has embarked on an epic struggle that will take you from the halls of Harvard Medical School to a sun-scorched plateau in Haiti, from the slums of Peru to the cold gray prisons of Moscow. He wants to change the world. Certainly this luminous and powerful book will change the way you see it.”—Jonathan Harr, author of A Civil Action

“A profoundly inspiring and important book about one of the truly great men of our time.” —Ethan Canin, author of Carry Me Across the Water

“Here is a genuine hero alive in our times. Mountains Beyond Mountains unfolds with the force of gathering revelation. Like all of Tracy Kidder’s books, it is as hard to put down as any good and true story.”—Annie Dillard, author of The Writing Life

Mountains Beyond Mountains is the only book I’ve read in years that made me feel like cheering. It left me uncomfortable, guilty, and exhausted—but it also inspired me, kept me up all night, and moved me to tears. Some readers will find their lives changed forever; everyone else will emerge, at the very least, with an unexpectedly revised set of values. Tracy Kidder has given us not only an unforgettable book but an unignorable life lesson. Hurrah!” —Anne Fadiman, author of The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down

“Rarely has idealism fared so well on the planet as in Tracy Kidder’s eloquently reported Mountains Beyond Mountains. One is tempted to call Paul Farmer’s passionate sensibilities and loving ambitions otherworldly, but only in sadness that there are too few of him in the world. Kidder has provided us all, as the Farmerites say, with a road map to decency, and such an endowment is beyond measure.” —Bob Shacochis, author of Easy in the Islands

"Is there anything Tracy Kidder can''t do? This is a beautiful book, and a masterful one. Even better, Mountains Beyond Mountains is a page-turner that will crack your conscience open." -Stacey Schiff, author of Vera

“An incredible story about an incredible man told by an incredible writer. Mountains Beyond Mountains is the sort of book that makes you want to buy a hundred copies and pass them out like a street corner evangelist. It''s the sort of book that will affect your life in a profound way. In a good way.” -Thom Jones, author of The Pugilist at Rest

“Saints are notoriously difficult people, but who knew one could be so funny, so utterly charming, and finally so deft in accomplishing that most impossible of all job descriptions—changing the world? Tracy Kidder''s spellbinding story presents us with an unlikely saint and finally, with inspiration so compelling it makes the usual cynicism about global change seem indulgent foolishness.”—Patricia Hampl, author of A Romantic Education

From the Back Cover

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 bookis 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."

"From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Tracy Kidder graduated from Harvard and studied at the University of Iowa. He has won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the Robert F. Kennedy Award, and many other literary prizes. The author of Mountains Beyond Mountains, My Detachment, Home Town, Old Friends, Among Schoolchildren, House, and The Soul of a New Machine, Kidder lives in Massachusetts and Maine.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter 1

Six years after the fact, Dr. Paul Edward Farmer reminded me, “We met because of a beheading, of all things.”

It was two weeks before Christmas 1994, in a market town in the central plateau of Haiti, a patch of paved road called Mirebalais. Near the center of town there was a Haitian army outpost–a concrete wall enclosing a weedy parade field, a jail, and a mustard-colored barracks. I was sitting with an American Special Forces captain, named Jon Carroll, on the building’s second-story balcony. Evening was coming on, the town’s best hour, when the air changed from hot to balmy and the music from the radios in the rum shops and the horns of the tap-taps passing through town grew loud and bright and the general filth and poverty began to be obscured, the open sewers and the ragged clothing and the looks on the faces of malnourished children and the extended hands of elderly beggars plaintively saying, “Grangou,” which means “hungry” in Creole.

I was in Haiti to report on American soldiers. Twenty thousand of them had been sent to reinstate the country’s democratically elected government, and to strip away power from the military junta that had deposed it and ruled with great cruelty for three years. Captain Carroll had only eight men, and they were temporarily in charge of keeping the peace among 150,000 Haitians, spread across about one thousand square miles of rural Haiti. A seemingly impossible job, and yet, out here in the central plateau, political violence had all but ended. In the past month, there had been only one murder. Then again, it had been spectacularly grisly. A few weeks back, Captain Carroll’s men had fished the headless corpse of the assistant mayor of Mirebalais out of the Artibonite River. He was one of the elected officials being restored to power. Suspicion for his murder had fallen on one of the junta’s local functionaries, a rural sheriff named Nerva Juste, a frightening figure to most people in the region. Captain Carroll and his men had brought Juste in for questioning, but they hadn’t found any physical evidence or witnesses. So they had released him.

The captain was twenty-nine years old, a devout Baptist from Alabama. I liked him. From what I’d seen, he and his men had been trying earnestly to make improvements in this piece of Haiti, but Washington, which had decreed that this mission would not include “nation-building,” had given them virtually no tools for that job. On one occasion, the captain had ordered a U.S. Army medevac flight for a pregnant Haitian woman in distress, and his commanders had reprimanded him for his pains. Up on the balcony of the barracks now, Captain Carroll was fuming about his latest frustration when someone said there was an American out at the gate who wanted to see him.

There were five visitors actually, four of them Haitians. They stood in the gathering shadows in front of the barracks, while their American friend came forward. He told Captain Carroll that his name was Paul Farmer, that he was a doctor, and that he worked in a hospital here, some miles north of Mirebalais.

I remember thinking that Captain Carroll and Dr. Farmer made a mismatched pair, and that Farmer suffered in the comparison. The captain stood about six foot two, tanned and muscular. As usual, a wad of snuff enlarged his lower lip. Now and then he turned his head aside and spat. Farmer was about the same age but much more delicate-looking. He had short black hair and a high waist and long thin arms, and his nose came almost to a point. Next to the soldier, he looked skinny and pale, and for all of that he struck me as bold, indeed downright cocky.

He asked the captain if his team had any medical problems. The captain said they had some sick prisoners whom the local hospital had refused to treat. “I ended up buyin’ the medicine myself.”

Farmer flashed a smile. “You’ll spend less time in Purgatory.” Then he asked, “Who cut off the head of the assistant mayor?”

“I don’t know for sure,” said the captain.

“It’s very hard to live in Haiti and not know who cut off someone’s head,” said Farmer.

A circuitous argument followed. Farmer made it plain he didn’t like the American government’s plan for fixing Haiti’s economy, a plan that would aid business interests but do nothing, in his view, to relieve the suffering of the average Haitian. He clearly believed that the United States had helped to foster the coup–for one thing, by having trained a high official of the junta at the U.S. Army’s School of the Americas. Two clear sides existed in Haiti, Farmer said–the forces of repression and the Haitian poor, the vast majority. Farmer was on the side of the poor. But, he told the captain, “it still seems fuzzy which side the American soldiers are on.” Locally, part of the fuzziness came from the fact that the captain had released the hated Nerva Juste.

I sensed that Farmer knew Haiti far better than the captain, and that he was trying to impart some important information. The people in this region were losing confidence in the captain, Farmer seemed to be saying, and this was a serious matter, obviously, for a team of nine soldiers trying to govern 150,000 people.

But the warning wasn’t entirely plain, and the captain got a little riled up at Farmer’s denunciation of the School of the Americas. As for Nerva Juste, he said, “Look, that guy is a bad guy. When I do have him and the evidence, I’ll slam him.” He slapped a fist into his hand. “But I’m not gonna stoop to the level of these guys and make summary arrests.”

Farmer replied, in effect, that it made no sense for the captain to apply principles of constitutional law in a country that at the moment had no functioning legal system. Juste was a menace and should be locked up.

So they reached a strange impasse. The captain, who described himself as “a redneck,” arguing for due process, and Farmer, who clearly considered himself a champion of human rights, arguing for preventive detention. Eventually, the captain said, “You’d be surprised how many decisions about what I can do here get made in Washington.”

And Farmer said, “I understand you’re constrained. Sorry if I’ve been haranguing.”

It had grown dark. The two men stood in a square of light from the open barracks door. They shook hands. As the young doctor disappeared into the shadows, I heard him speaking Creole to his Haitian friends.

I stayed with the soldiers for several weeks. I didn’t think much about Farmer. In spite of his closing words, I didn’t think he understood or cared to sympathize with the captain’s problems.

Then by chance I ran into him again, on my way home, on the plane to Miami. He was sitting in first-class. He explained that the flight attendants put him there because he often flew this route and on occasion dealt with medical emergencies on board. The attendants let me sit with him for a while. I had dozens of questions about Haiti, including one about the assistant mayor’s murder. The soldiers thought that Voodoo beliefs conferred a special, weird terror on decapitation. “Does cutting off the victim’s head have some basis in the history of Voodoo?” I asked.

“It has some basis in the history of brutality,” Farmer answered. He frowned, and then he touched my arm, as if to say that we all ask stupid questions sometimes.

I found out more about him. For one thing, he didn’t dislike soldiers. “I grew up in a trailer park, and I know which economic class joins the American military.” He told me, speaking of Captain Carroll, “You meet these twenty-nine-year-old soldiers, and you realize, Come on, they’re not the ones making the bad policies.” He confirmed my impression, that he’d visited the captain to warn him. Many of Farmer’s patients and Haitian friends had complained about the release of Nerva Juste, saying it proved the Americans hadn’t really come to help them. Farmer told me he was driving through Mireba- lais and his Haitian friends were teasing him, saying he didn’t dare stop and talk to the American soldiers about the murder case, and then the truck got a flat tire right outside the army compound, and he said to his friends, “Aha, you have to listen to messages from angels.”

I got Farmer to tell me a little about his life. He was thirty-five. He had graduated from Harvard Medical School and also had a Ph.D. in anthropology from Harvard. He worked in Boston four months of the year, living in a church rectory in a slum. The rest of the year he worked without pay in Haiti, mainly doctoring peasants who had lost their land to a hydroelectric dam. He had been expelled from Haiti during the time of the junta but had sneaked back to his hospital. “After the payment,” he said, “of an insultingly small bribe.”

I looked for him after the plane landed. We talked some more in a coffee shop, and I nearly missed my connecting flight. A few weeks later, I took him to dinner in Boston, hoping he could help make sense of what I was trying to write about Haiti, which he seemed glad to do. He clarified some of the history for me but left me wondering about him. He had described himself as “a poor people’s doctor,” but he didn’t quite fit my preconception of such a person. He clearly liked the fancy restaurant, the heavy cloth napkins, the good bottle of wine. What struck me that evening was how happy he seemed with his life. Obviously, a young man with his advantages could have been doing good works as a doctor while commuting between Boston and a pleasant suburb–not between a room in what I imagined must be a grubby church rectory and the wasteland of central Haiti. The way he talked, it seemed he actually enjoyed living among Haitian peasant farmers. At one point, speaking about medicine, he said, “I don’t know why everybody isn’t excited by it.” He smiled at me, and his face turned bright, not red so much as glowing, a luminescent smile. It affected me quite strongly, like a welcome gladly given, one you didn’t have to earn.

But after our dinner I drifted out of touch with him, mainly, I now think, because he also disturbed me. Writing my article about Haiti, I came to share the pessimism of the soldiers I’d stayed with. “I think we should have left Haiti to itself,” one of Captain Carroll’s men had said to me. “Does it really matter who’s in power? They’re still gonna have the rich and the poor and no one in between. I don’t know what we hope to accomplish. We’re still going to have a shitload of Haitians in boats wanting to go to America. But, I guess it’s best not even to try and figure it out.” The soldiers had come to Haiti and lifted a terror and restored a government, and then they’d left and the country was just about as poor and broken-down as when they had arrived. They had done their best, I thought. They were worldly and tough. They wouldn’t cry about things beyond their control.

I felt as though, in Farmer, I’d been offered another way of thinking about a place like Haiti. But his way would be hard to share, because it implied such an extreme definition of a term like “doing one’s best.”

The world is full of miserable places. One way of living comfortably is not to think about them or, when you do, to send money. Over the next five years, I mailed some small sums to the charity that supported Farmer’s hospital in Haiti. He sent back handwritten thank-you notes on each occasion. Once, from a friend of a friend, I heard he was doing something notable in international health, something to do with tuberculosis. I didn’t look into the details, though, and I didn’t see him again until near the end of 1999. I was the one who made the appointment. He named the place.

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avid reader
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Impressive and humbling
Reviewed in the United States on December 7, 2018
I had this book for a long time before reading it. When I would think of reading Mountains Beyond Mountains, I felt challenged. Actually that is a good thing as I understood how difficult Dr. Farmer''s causes were and how dedicated and influential he was. I learned a lot... See more
I had this book for a long time before reading it. When I would think of reading Mountains Beyond Mountains, I felt challenged. Actually that is a good thing as I understood how difficult Dr. Farmer''s causes were and how dedicated and influential he was. I learned a lot about TB and other diseases prevalent in other places and how difficult but necessary the treatments are. The broad funding requirements, the political dance, the education of others besides caring for patients made the PIH so crusty and difficult. Still with dedication and energy much has been accomplished is several critical places. The world owes a great debt to Dr. Paul Farmer and others who dedicate their lives to caring for those who don''t have the means or ability to help themselves.
11 people found this helpful
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Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Inspiring and Disturbing
Reviewed in the United States on March 17, 2016
This book provides a glimpse not only into the medical and sociological challenges of Haiti and other impoverished regions, but into the culture of those who serve, support those who serve and in many cases obstruct those who serve. Mr. Farmer''s view of all human life being... See more
This book provides a glimpse not only into the medical and sociological challenges of Haiti and other impoverished regions, but into the culture of those who serve, support those who serve and in many cases obstruct those who serve. Mr. Farmer''s view of all human life being worthy of an opportunity to live is refreshing in an era of global narcissism. Mr. Kidder did an exceptional job capturing Paul Farmer''s character, dedication, commitment and single-minded focus, but I still came away not fully understanding what drives him at his core. This lack of understanding my be my fault as I''ve been trained to seek a "root cause" when I analyze a situation, in a culture where everyone has an agenda. Regardless, I applaud Mr. Farmer and the thousands of other unnamed global servants who engage on a life level helping those who most need help.
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Jayne P. Bowers
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Politics, Health, and Paul Farmer
Reviewed in the United States on May 6, 2015
I finished this remarkable book a couple of weeks ago and have been too busy learning more about Paul Farmer and others who have been working for decades to improve the health, well-being, and living conditions for people in Haiti, Peru, and Russia to write a review. A... See more
I finished this remarkable book a couple of weeks ago and have been too busy learning more about Paul Farmer and others who have been working for decades to improve the health, well-being, and living conditions for people in Haiti, Peru, and Russia to write a review. A co-founder of Partners In Health, Dr. Farmer and his cohorts continue to give of their time, money, talents, and just about all of their resources to help ease the suffering of the poor, hungry, sick, imprisoned, and dying.

Until reading Tracy Kidder’s book, I didn’t know men like Farmer and his ilk existed. Someone asked me if he was a Christian, and I replied that he doesn’t talk much about his religious beliefs except for a frequent reference to the 40th verse in Matthew 25: “Verily, I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Farmer definitely walks the talk.

This is the second of Kidder’s books that I have read, the first being Strength in What Remains. His books are filled with fact after fact about things I’ve never considered. For example, I now know about Burundi and the genocide there, but until two years ago I had never heard of this small, incredibly poor country and Deo, one of its citizens who escaped the genocide and became a doctor after living as a homeless man in NYC.

In both of these books, Kidder’s scene descriptions of Haiti, Cuba, NYC, Burundi, and several other locales are so realistic that the reader can see, hear, and smell the environments. He’s also a master at character description and in adding an encyclopedic array of facts while holding the reader’s interest (mine anyway). Although I knew economics and medicine were related, I now have a deeper understanding of the interplay between politics, poverty, wealth, and healthcare.

If you want to get out of your comfort zone and learn more about the world and some of its people, read Mountains Beyond Mountains.
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jennifer campbell
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Everyone should read this inspriational book!
Reviewed in the United States on June 8, 2019
Read either this book to understand why so many Haitians have migrated to Chile! Read this book to understand how one person really CAN change the world. Read this book to see that there really are selfless people in the world. John Farmer has changed so many people''s... See more
Read either this book to understand why so many Haitians have migrated to Chile! Read this book to understand how one person really CAN change the world. Read this book to see that there really are selfless people in the world. John Farmer has changed so many people''s lives, in spite of his modesty he had Tracy Kidder for follow him around the world for about 3 years, that in itself must have taken a great deal of tolerance. The author portrays John Farmer as an inspirational driven figure that you would just love to meet. His method of dealing with the poor and sick people of central Haiti, is to improve their lives not only their health, facing up the world''s health authorities methods and getting them to understand what is necessary to tackle not only TB and AIDS, but drug resistant TB. My only question is, why did not they not vaccinate the healthy Haitians against TB? I know it is not one of the best vaccines, but it could have reduced the number of new cases. PIH does seem to have a vaccination programme now, though I am not clear as to whether this is against TB. Having seen in Uganda, where AIDS was so rampant in 1992 and because the symptoms of the 2 diseases are so similar, people with TB would just give up as they thought they had AIDS. Haiti''s problems come from being a French slave colony, Papa Doc''s Tonton Macoute and the US building a dam, flooding the interior fertile valley, to suite US investors, and of course the usual corruption. John Farmer sees the reality but it does not stop him from dedicating himself to the lot of the poor. I loved the first half of the book, but got a bit bogged down with the huge number of projects that he tries to cover, in the second half, but this is necessary to cover the number of projects that Farmer got involved with.
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kds
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A catalyst for good
Reviewed in the United States on January 21, 2015
Tracy Kidder is the master journalist, like a clear window on the world. Long ago I read The Soul of a New Machine and liked it, but didn''t think too much about it. The brilliance of Kidder''s style is so make you feel like you are there, really feel what the subject is... See more
Tracy Kidder is the master journalist, like a clear window on the world. Long ago I read The Soul of a New Machine and liked it, but didn''t think too much about it. The brilliance of Kidder''s style is so make you feel like you are there, really feel what the subject is about, without any distortion positive or negative.

What an amazing subject for this work: Dr. Paul Farmer. This guy is just amazing! As a college student, he travels to Haiti to dedicate himself to the poor. He attends Harvard while spending 8 months a year in Haiti building his own hospital there. He gets a PhD in Anthropology at the same time he gets his MD, the latter not surprising given that he already has 6 years of intense clinical experience dealing directly with life and death situations. You would expect such a person to take on airs, maybe be a big proud of himself, maybe even be motivated by the ''big bucks'' so clearly available in a rich city. Dr. Farmer appears to be vying for a "saint" award. Kidder makes you feel like you are there sitting in the same room, and it is no big deal.

To say this book is inspiring is badly understating it. Look at what you can do if you hold true to your ideals! It is humbling as well. Dr. Farmer is my age, and I can''t help drawing parallels with my own life, and there is no way I could do a fraction of what he is done. Yet I don''t need to: it is satisfying to know that there are people like him in the world.

There is so much to learn from the book. Never give in, and never give up! His daily accomplishments are so small, and yet at the same time so profound and consistent. It is all about "caring". If you care about your friends, your neighbors, your family, and - yes - the rest of the world, how can you not love a person who literally saves people on a daily basis? Are we seeing a saint walking among us? One has to wonder.

This is a story that needs to be told. It reminds me a lot of Three Cups of Tea. If only we could motivate others to do the same -- if only we could motivate ourselves to do the same -- the world could be a better place. How refreshing to read about a real superhero.

While continuing to work in Haiti, he started to investigate Lima Peru, where there was a disturbing trend: people with Tuberculosis that was resistant to 4, maybe even 5 of the top antibiotics. He goes there and finds that in general Peru is competently following a program in strict accordance to WHO standards. The problem was the WHO guidelines! How to raise this issue without alienating the world''s most important health organization, or the officials in Peru. At the same time, what can be done about drugs with inflated costs putting them out of reach of these poor patients?

His travels take him to the prisons in Russia, which has a an extreme problem with TB as well. Prisoners are easy to study and monitor. He points out that the prisons are like a pump that cycles TB into the general population with prisoners who stay a few years and bring the disease back with him. You almost cheer when he gets a grant from the Gates foundation to develop a modified procedure to battle MDR-TB.

He does not do any of this all by himself. There are a lot of truly dedicate people who recognize his talent and follow/help him all along the way. Kidder manages to capture many of these people as well. At still, Farmer''s real talent is to be the catalyst that makes it all come together. It might be better to say it all flows around him...

In the end, his success is due to one simple talent, and he says it best in his own words: "I like people." It is hard not to like him back.
9 people found this helpful
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Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Kidder''s "Mountains Beyond Moutains" Inspires
Reviewed in the United States on November 23, 2016
Thank you Tracy Kidder. It was hard to put this book down. I felt as if I''d walked every mile with Paul Farmer through remote mountain villages where he helped people suffering from maladies that took root in the midst of poverty, isolation and lack of knowledge. Reading... See more
Thank you Tracy Kidder. It was hard to put this book down. I felt as if I''d walked every mile with Paul Farmer through remote mountain villages where he helped people suffering from maladies that took root in the midst of poverty, isolation and lack of knowledge. Reading this story, my takeaway was this: When we do have occasion to meet people like Dr. Farmer, we are fortunate if we recognize we are in the presence of someone who is living out his or her mission without holding back. Passionately, tirelessly and with perseverance. Deserving of our gratitude and support. Kidder does an admirable job by providing an accurate and respectfully written portrayal of Dr. Farmer with the power to inspire others to follow in his footsteps.
11 people found this helpful
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Connie Pwll Walck Tyler
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
An adventure story in real life
Reviewed in the United States on December 14, 2019
It''s rare that a book of nonfiction can hold my attention in the same way as fiction, but this true adventure had me enthralled. And even better it was full of hope and joy! And an audacity that got the impossible done! The world needs a hundred, or thousands of Paul... See more
It''s rare that a book of nonfiction can hold my attention in the same way as fiction, but this true adventure had me enthralled. And even better it was full of hope and joy! And an audacity that got the impossible done! The world needs a hundred, or thousands of Paul Farmers. Hopefully this book will find its way into the hands of those thousands of young people who want to chsnge the world but don''t know how. Paul Farmer will show you
the way.
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Susan Rogers
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Hope
Reviewed in the United States on July 6, 2021
Essentially this book is about hope and diligence. So much can be accomplished if we simply expect to turn life in a positive direction, and diligently trek on. It helps to have genius as a role model…my gawd what could we accomplish with these simple gifts!
One person found this helpful
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Top reviews from other countries

Steve A
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Absorbing commentary on a visionary but practical approach to a major world health problem
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 6, 2018
I work in primary health care in the UK and have lived through the times when HIV related illness emerged and TB reappeared as a significant public health problem so this book is of great interest to me professionally and at a personal level with a parallel career in a...See more
I work in primary health care in the UK and have lived through the times when HIV related illness emerged and TB reappeared as a significant public health problem so this book is of great interest to me professionally and at a personal level with a parallel career in a totally different setting. I found it challenging in thinking ''what might have been'' but at the same time familiar - holding that paramount concern for the patient in front of you and the desire to be the best advocate for their care. I think I got to understand the psyche of Dokte Paul, but I am left wondering about the relationships within his own nuclear family. I found it a very good read.
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Beesmalls
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Loved this book, life-changing
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 6, 2019
I adored this incredible book, and I’m absolutely obsessed with Farmer after reading it. More than just one man though it really sparks thought about global health and social policy and the idea that the poor don’t deserve the health options that the rich have. It is...See more
I adored this incredible book, and I’m absolutely obsessed with Farmer after reading it. More than just one man though it really sparks thought about global health and social policy and the idea that the poor don’t deserve the health options that the rich have. It is incredibly well researched and I’ve come away knowing more than I ever imagined I would about Haiti, and TB.
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Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Great read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 19, 2019
This book tells a story of how ones man journey interacting with others for the common of humanity in some off the most impoverished places on earth.. The teams, plus donors determination to break down barriers that restrict the delivery of health in the wider concept is to...See more
This book tells a story of how ones man journey interacting with others for the common of humanity in some off the most impoverished places on earth.. The teams, plus donors determination to break down barriers that restrict the delivery of health in the wider concept is to be greatly admired .
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bette
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Giid condition
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 8, 2021
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G horne
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Inspiring
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 4, 2021
Not yet finished, but really enjoying this inspirational book. Recommend for anyone studying tropical medicine/nursing or has a desire to make a difference in low resource countries
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