To Repair the World: Paul Farmer Speaks to the Next Generation

Paul Farmer, edited by Jonathan Weigel, foreword by Bill Clinton. Univ. of California, $26.95 (240 p) ISBN 978-0-520-27597-3
Farmer, Harvard professor and founder of Partners in Health, offers an anthology of 19 speeches on global health initiatives delivered between 2001 and 2012. Since his med school days in the 1980s, Farmer has been committed to building a viable health care system in Haiti. On January 12, 2010, he witnessed the devastating earthquake in Port-au-Prince and participated in the rescue effort. Despite self-deprecating remarks about being the "terminally unhip" successor of commencement speakers like Ali G, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Bono, and Will Ferrell, Farmer has addressed top-tier institu-tions like Oxford, Brown, and Johns Hopkins. Divided into four sections, the book opens with the sub-ject of social injustice in medical care, explores the future of medicine and "instruments of mass salva-tion" following natural disasters, and closes on the issue of human suffering. Addressing "insignificant others" along with newly-minted public servants, he urges today's graduates to become "accom-pagnateurs"—a Creole term he uses to describe a committed doctor. While Farmer admits to sermon-izing, readers will emerge with a heightened sense of the responsibilities and sacrifices required of fu-ture public servants. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/27/2013
Release date: 05/01/2013
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