February 09, 2015 Sally Bjornsen


In this month of Kindness I thought it would be appropriate to review the life-changing book Mountains Beyond Mountains by Pulitzer Prize winning author Tracy Kidder. This book is one of the most thought provoking and inspiring stories of dedication and human kindness I have ever imagined. I am a better person for reading it.

This non-fictional book tells a compelling tale that recounts the remarkable story of Paul Farmer. Doctor, Harvard professor, renowned infectious-disease specialist, anthropologist, the recipient of a MacArthur “genius” grant — a world-class Robin Hood. Farmer who 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 amazing book inspires the human spirit and shows how a meaningful life can be created while hundreds and thousands of lives are changed because of it. Farmer is brilliant, charismatic and driven by a philosophy that “the only real nation is humanity.” He finds time between his travels in Peru, Cuba and Russia to make house calls in Boston and in the mountains of Haiti. He doesn’t take no for an answer and learns to work with and around the bureaucracy of institutional medicine to get results. He is the founder of Partners in Health and has enlisted 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 book we see hope for humanity regardless of gender, race or culture. The title of the book comes from a Haitian (where a large part of the story takes place) 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. Five stars and two thumbs up from me!




Sold Out