Book Reports/Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder book report 20271

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“People are unreasonable, illogical and self-centered. Love them anyway. If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives. Do good anyway. If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway. The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable. Be honest and frank anyway. What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway. People really need help but may attack you if you help them. Help people anyway. Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth. Give the world the best you've got anyway.”

Words of wisdom from Mother Teresa.

Truly, all these ironic yet sensible words clearly portray Paul Farmer -- a real hero alive in our times. As the central character of this extra ordinary book, he is one of the most stimulating, brilliant, funny, worrying, energetic, tedious, and charming characters ever to come to life on the page. He grew up living in boats and trailers in the rural south. Obviously, Paul Farmer is clearly an amazingly smart guy. No wonder he was awarded a full scholarship to Duke, and later on to Harvard Medical School. While still a student, he commenced a public health program in Haiti -- that eventually become the exemplar model for such systems around the globe.

Farmer discerns and recognizes the pleasure and privileges he has been provided by living in America, but insists on skirmishing for a better way. He choose a life that is far from the ways he was used to, but for a very noble cause -- a devotion to provide medical care for the truly indigent. He wants to transform the world in his own little but brilliant and remarkable ways.

He has embarked on a heroic resistance that will take you from the halls of Harvard Medical School to a sun-parched plateau in Haiti, from the slums of Peru to the prisons of Moscow.. As a Harvard medical school professor, he uses most of his time combating tuberculosis, AIDS and poverty, in Haiti and around the world.

Additionally, the Boston medical establishment has changed some rules and regulations to lodge his needs. A gifted man with an unwavering morality, an keen imagination, and inexhaustible energy, empathy, and sympathy. He established Partners in Health, a defector yet immensely influential organization. With his influential presence, this adamant visionary is too outstandingly impressive not to be disturbing, and Kidder shares his perplexity over and occasional anxiety with this compelling and tirelessly giving man who shuns personal contentment to care for the poorest of all poor.

Mountains Beyond Mountains illustrates how Farmer and his vocation somewhat eradicate the untimely and miserable deaths of the impoverished. Philosophically speaking, for him poverty is not a reason to die. The diseases that confront the people of Mountains Beyond Mountains are tuberculosis and AIDS, especially the threatening rise of multiply drug-resistant tuberculosis also known as MDR-TB in medical shorthand. Through his effort, a great deal of international health rule was developed. Creed that recognizes AIDS in the third world should be treated with a simplified procedure — easy, that is, when compared with the more complicated multiple-drug treatment of the urbanized world. Moreover, the rule is attainable and logical, based on conjecture of infrastructure, cost and ability to monitor conformity.

Similarly, treatment for tuberculosis has been remarkably triumphant, as observed in the therapy and treatment, with a standard cocktail of anti-tuberculosis medications. He is able to attain outstanding results with AIDS regimens similar to those used in the US. He emphasizes the importance of producing drugs at a chepaer price and teach people how to follow instructions in medicating themselves. In this way, indigent people have an equal opportunity with the advantaged people to stay alive. His breakthrough in the medical anthropological investigation of how politics and poverty intermingle with medical epidemiology is an important contribution in the struggle against future epidemics. Surpass, beyond theory, he has affected and effected global policy in managing tuberculosis and AIDS, saving immeasurable lives. Most imperative to him, is that he has accomplished all that while spending almost all of his time intermingling one-on-one with his own indigent Haitian patients.

The person who comes through in these pages is man I would like to associate and from whom I would be keen on to learn. One senses a very smart man who can on some instances be a pain in the neck, not self-satisfied but extremely driven and usually right in his evaluation, a man to whom the line “burning the candle at both ends” can be suitably applied. Farmer indisputably has been a genial force in this world. As Kidder have given some justification, Farmer works round the clock, barely sleeps, hardly sees his wife and child for a day, or even few months, motivates an unusual degree of dedication and zest among potential donors, colleagues, and endures planes and airports for days and more. The greatness of his life makes one speculate how he lives in his bones, how he combats fatigue and where he finds comfort and rest. My feeling is that he acquires it with the pitiable people in Haiti, and Farmer is one of those few people whose service nourishes and energizes him.

It is a rare experience for me to find a book that stirs me up, sets me on fire, and makes me think seriously about my life and dedication as a person – who am I, and my purposes for living. Even though I do not have the same capacity as Paul Farmer, reading Mountains Beyond Mountains has inspired me, and likely will inspire all who read this book. His amazingly sympathetic character, filled with enthusiasm and intelligence, who has dedicated his vocation to working with underprivileged people throughout the world. In some ways, Farmer will probe us to a deeper self-realization on how to discover and use our God-given talents in the service of mankind, particularly for less fortunate ones, with the same vicious joy, demanding persistence and intelligent enthusiasm like he portrays. He is an epitome to which many doctors desire -- a quintessence of unwavering devotion to his patients.

After all those astonishing traits, still, Farmer somewhat aggravates my better judgment. However, somehow, somewhere, there is a trait in him that is unsettling. A combination of his holier-than-thou struggle for the poor, his purposeful motivation of guilt into all around him, his Communist creed, and his complete disregard for good organization.

The author at some point supported the sense that Farmer knows well the incompetence and paradoxes of his process and morality. Even though much of his morality and ideology are unwise and disgusting, the author makes it clear that Paul Farmer is clever enough to distinguish the paradoxes and ambiguity of his thinking. As he escorts Farmer on his strenuous and dangerous daily schedule and travels, he parses the mean realities of deep destitution and the exasperating politics of international health care. The brilliance of Kidder's first person narrative of his travels with Farmer upholds and permits the reader to value and understand his coherent skepticism, and somewhat impudent, eccentric individual of less than orthodox Catholic upbringing. It certainly depicts an indisputably motivated and heroic individual, whose pursuit for justice will make every reader appraise her or his life in a new perspective and new light.

Because of Farmers’ scholarly contributions to the understanding of epidemics, his colossal personal dedication toward the suppression of poverty, but more importantly through the innate goodness of the medical crusader’s integrity and morality which the author come to realize and appreciate put a cease to his own uncertainties.

And finally, the exceptional affection, love and importance he is showering the people of Haiti, and other countries simply weigh far beyond, compared to his imperfection.

But of course, none of us is perfect. Each one of us has our own unique flaws and indifference. We are all cracked pots. The thing is, we shouldn’t be afraid of our flaws – our imperfection. We must recognize, acknowledge them, and we too can be the cause of real beauty. Know that in our weakness we find our strength.

Convincing? Perhaps. Paul Farmer is certainly not perfect but there remains something phenomenal about him. His greatest gift of all – love for mankind.

Indeed this shimmering and powerful book will change the way you see life – your outlook per se. A burning desire to change for the better. To alienate ourselves of misgivings and selfishness. A freedom to do better, not for our own sake but for the benefit of humanity. Without a shadow of a doubt, for me, that is the key: the main ingredient. Truly, our life is simply a mirror image of our dealings. If you aspire more love in the world, establish more love in your heart. If you want more proficiency in your team, develop your competence. This correlation applies to everything, in all aspects of life. Life will give you back all you have given to it. Simple because life is not a twist of fate, it is a mirror, everything that you see is a reflection of you.

May all of us be like Paul Farmer, a living legend against the “Paradox of our Time.”

References :

Chacko, John."Life is a Reflection of You." 1st Holistic.com.1 ICBS, Inc.. 27 Feb. 2007 .

Harp, Grady."There's a lot that can be said for sacrifice, remorse, even pity. It's what separates us from roaches." Amazon.com.21 Dec. 2006. 27 Feb. 2007 .

Hirschel, Bernard."The New England Journal of Medicine ." Amazon.com. 2003. Massachusetts Medical Society. 27 Feb. 2007 .

Ho, Ben."Mountains Beyond Mountains a biography by Tracy Kidder: Why anti-poverty crusader Paul Farmer irritated me."11 Oct. 2006. Muze Inc.. 27 Feb. 2007 .

"John R. Trimble, Writing with Style."1 The University of Texas at Austin. 27 Feb. 2007 .

Kidder, Tracy. Mountains Beyond Mountains: Healing the World: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer.

New York : Random House, 2003.

Le Roy, Michael."Whitworth Faculty Essays on Mountains Beyond Mountains 2006 New-Student Reading."1 2006. Whitworth University. 1 .

Mother Teresa."People Are Often Unreasonable." : Elise’s Collection of Favorite Quotes..1 1 .

Nuttwell, Lynn."Fairfox City RegionalLibrary." Editorial Reviews. 2003. Amazon.com. 27 Feb. 2007 .

Sheehan, Myles."Doctor to the Poor." America : The National Catholic Weekly.10 Nov. 2003. America Press, Inc.. 27 Feb. 2007 .

"We are Crack Pot's!." The Princess Royal Trust for Carers.6 Jan. 2007. 1 Feb. 2007 .

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