To Repair the World: Paul Farmer Speaks to the Next Generation
Publication Date: May 1, 2013
Here, for the first time, is a collection of short speeches by the charismatic doctor and social activist Paul Farmer. One of the most passionate and influential voices for global health equity and social justice, Farmer encourages young people to tackle the greatest challenges of our times. Engaging, often humorous, and always inspiring, these speeches bring to light the brilliance and force of Farmer’s vision in a single, accessible volume.
A must-read for graduates, students, and everyone seeking to help bend the arc of history toward justice, To Repair the World:
• Challenges readers to counter failures of imagination that keep billions of people without access to health care, safe drinking water, decent schools, and other basic human rights;
• Champions the power of partnership against global poverty, climate change, and other pressing problems today;
• Overturns common assumptions about health disparities around the globe by considering the large-scale social forces that determine who gets sick and who has access to health care;
• Discusses how hope, solidarity, faith, and hardbitten analysis have animated Farmer’s service to the poor in Haiti, Peru, Rwanda, Russia, and elsewhere;
• Leaves the reader with an uplifting vision: that with creativity, passion, teamwork, and determination, the next generations can make the world a safer and more humane place.
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 Haiti After the Earthquake. Other titles include 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 Praise for To Repair the World:
“Paul Farmer’s speeches are inspiring to the last, full of wit and humor, and animated with moving stories about his and Partners In Health’s efforts to make our world a little more gentle and caring. A wonderful book.”
–Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Laureate
@BillClinton & I agree – Paul Farmer’s new book, To Repair the World, is an impt read for young people looking to engage with the world.
–Chelsea Clinton @ChelseaClinton
Paul Farmer is one of the most inspiring people I know & @PIH 1 of the great orgs in the world. –Edward Norton @EdwardNorton
“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.
Excited to read To Repair the World.
“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.”
—Jim Yong Kim, President, World Bank Group
“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.”
—Sanjay Gupta, Chief Medical Correspondent