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To Repair the World: Paul Farmer Speaks to the Next Generation (California Series in Public Anthropology) Hardcover – May 1, 2013


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To Repair the World: Paul Farmer Speaks to the Next Generation (California Series in Public Anthropology) + Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World (Random House Reader's Circle)
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Product Details

  • Series: California Series in Public Anthropology
  • Hardcover: 294 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press (May 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520275977
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520275973
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.8 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,312 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

“Paul Farmer’s deserved fame as global health expert, medical anthropologist, and advocate for the poor and the marginal centers on his moral commitment to doing good in the world and on the extraordinary influence of his personal call to a generation of young men and women to make the same remarkable commitment. Here are the words, the stories, the passion, the humor, the humanity— vulnerable and powerful—that constitute Paul’s magic. Here is Paul at those special moments when we want and need a moral exemplar, calling us to do what good we can for those who have nothing, who are broken, who are left behind, who are sick and disabled, who need to be accompanied, and whose betterment betters us. Against the selfishness of the market model and the deadening cynicism of the media, here is straight talk about why, as the song goes, “you’ve got to serve somebody,” why caregiving and doing good really do matter to the world and to each of us.”—Arthur Kleinman, Esther and Sidney Rabb Professor of Anthropology at Harvard University

“Paul Farmer has a knack for persuading an audience to participate in his lectures, whether aloud or in silence. In other words, he never bores his audience. The liveliness of his talks comes in part from his delivery, but also from the qualities of the lectures themselves: the freshness of their ideas, their wit, and their passion. And these, thankfully, are qualities which this collection preserves.”—Tracy Kidder, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Soul of a New Machine, Among Schoolchildren, Mountains Beyond Mountains, and other titles.

“Paul Farmer is the most compelling voice for justice in a generation. In this volume are the stories and insights that have helped thousands of students imagine—and fight for—a better world. Read this to be inspired. Read this to learn. Most importantly, when you’re done, give this book to a friend and join the movement for health equity.”—Jonny Dorsey, cofounder of FACE AIDS and Global Health Corps

“This collection of speeches brings us close to Paul Farmer in a way that scholarly publications can’t. In these pages, I hear Paul’s voice clearly: his tenderness, his anger, his passion for justice, the incendiary sense of humor that has regularly doubled me over with laughter for twenty-five years—and often made me worry for Paul’s safety, as he aimed his barbs at the uncaring power holders of this world. Paul speaks directly to young people grappling with big decisions: about the values they will live by, the work they will choose, where their responsibility for other people begins and ends. But these questions concern all of us. And, for anyone struggling with these issues, I can’t imagine a more challenging yet inspiring guide than Paul Farmer.”—Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank Group, former President of Dartmouth College, cofounder of Partners In Health.

“The fingerprints of Dr. Paul Farmer are everywhere in the world. I have seen them firsthand in Haiti, Rwanda, and right here in the United States. Whenever there is a need, Paul is the first guy out the door. After all, curing or repairing the world is ambitious and tough work, but one can’t help feeling more optimistic about our fate knowing Dr. Farmer is on the job. In his new book, you get more of an insight into this modern life hero—what makes him tick, his frailties, and what he worries about at night, long after most of the world is asleep. We also learn what inspires him, and the answer may surprise you.

Paul is my friend, and I have long wondered about the answers to some of these questions, yet never had the opportunity to ask. I also know that Paul will be mad at me for calling him a hero. His humility is legendary and one hundred percent genuine. Medical students all over the world have told me they entered our shared profession because of Dr. Paul Farmer. Now, it is time for the rest of the planet to be inspired, and in these pages they learn what it takes To Repair the World.”—Sanjay Gupta, Chief Medical Correspondent at CNN and Professor of Neurosurgery at Emory University School of Medicine



About the Author

Paul Farmer is co-founder of Partners In Health and Chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School. His most recent book is Reimagining Global Health. Other titles include To Repair the World, Pathologies of Power: Health, Human Rights; The New War on the Poor; Infections and Inequalities: The Modern Plagues; and AIDS and Accusation: Haiti and the Geography of Blame, all by UC Press.

More About the Author

Paul Farmer is UN's Deputy Special Envoy for Haiti and Chair of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard. He is also Professor of Anthropology at Harvard Medical School, chief of Social Medicine and Inequalities at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital, and founding director of Partners In Health. Among his numerous awards and honors is the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation's "genius award."

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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I've read Tracy Kidder's excellent profile of Paul Farmer (Mountains Beyond Mountains).
bak234
He leaves us with an uplifting vision that the next generation can make a difference, making the world safer and a better place to live.
Scott Haraburda
Farmer's writing style is very accessible, even when writing on serious subjects, and keeps you interested.
D. Hill

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By 2bpoet on June 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Paul Farmer is to me the greatest thinker and do-er in medicine in our times. He has gotten a team of great people to deliver quality care, REALLY quality care, to the poorest people in the world, for diseases that many hard-hearted economic-minded folks thought could never be treated due to scarcity models of thinking. What I love about Dr. Farmer is the way he is filled with expert mercy and real hope. NOT optimism, but hope. And he inspires us all, with the way he SEES how it can be done.
I was in the Peace Corps in Paraguay, and just a bit ahead of his cycling between Harvard and Haiti. So I know whereof he speaks, and what he has accomplished. I have spent my career practicing medicine in the USA, and I know that all our patients need the same things-- the same help from physicians, and improvements in delivery of care. It gives me abiding joy to see his work, to hear his words. I want to give this book to every young person I know. WE CAN do things better!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By ct on May 31, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Paul Farmer is an excellent writer. He has taught me respect for people. I travel to Haiti and every time I begin to see tin roofs, I know I am close to Cange (sp). Simple yet profound.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By T. Pretlow on June 14, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book contains a series of Dr. Paul Farmer's commencement addresses at many very prestigious medical schools and schools of public health. Consistent with Paul Farmer's many previous publications, his message is that our mission on earth should be to emphasize the "option for the poor." His approach is excellent and relatively inexpensive. He deplores the transformation of healthcare in the United States from being a ministry focused on helping and healing the sick into an industry focused primarily on money. As one who entered medical school over half a century ago, I certainly identify with his message and have seen medical practice in the United States transformed by the medical-industrial complex into what sometimes amounts to no more than organized extortion.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By anita poss on July 30, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Paul Farmer presents his outlook in a series of Commencement speeches, addressing the need to address poverty and inequality around the world. His experience in many countries with Partners in Health gives him authority to speak about global health issues and the inadequate measures to solve these problems. He presents his ideas with humor, eloquence and passion. However since it is a series of speeches, it can be repetitive and I learned more from his previous book, Haiti After the Earthquake, that described the challenges of that country in surviving after the devastation brought by the earthquake. His philosophy comes through with more detail in the Haiti book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Hachey on June 20, 2013
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Some of Paul Farmer's previous work was quite dense, written like an anthropology text. Because this book is a collection of speeches given at graduations and conferences, it is much more accessible to a lay audience. Dr. Farmer is funny, enlightening, and above all inspirational.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By P. Troxell on June 24, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am a fan of Paul Farmer and all his good work. This book is a quick read that synopsizes his public health care ideas espoused in his commencement speeches.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By AJ Marks on July 30, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This book should be recommended to any student launching on a medical career. It is a collection of speeches, mostly at graduations made by Dr. Farmer before newly minted doctors. As such, it might spoil the ending to have students read it at the beginning of their careers but we need students who will hold the ideals of excellence and service above the focus on the next test, or the next loan repayment.

Farmer writes an excellent speech and unless his timing was terrible, his jokes and observations must have kept his audiences attention throughout. Needless to say, we need more people who hold the values expressed in this book. Each chapter stands alone so it is an excellent book to give to someone who seldom reads entire books (we all know them)for they will enjoy whatever portion they consume, all without having to sit through an entire commencement program.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By bak234 on May 26, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've read Tracy Kidder's excellent profile of Paul Farmer (Mountains Beyond Mountains). Here we get to hear Farmer in his own voice. I can't begin to say enough about the insight and thoughtfulness of his words. Truly an inspiring call to action for global health equity!
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