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-listen for graduates, students, and everyone seeking to help bend the arc of history toward justice, To Repair the World:
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“To Repair the World is an important read for young people looking to engage with the world.” (Chelsea Clinton)
I teach an undergraduate course, BA223, Principles of Leadership, and introduced this book, Paul Farmer and the Partner's in Health team / task force to my students. This type of civic engagement, grass roots, community based leadership is humanity driven and surpasses all egocentric government systems and politically strangulated agencies, in their activism and critical thinking. Humanity would implode if NGOs like Partner's in Health did not exist.
I'm Audible's first Editor-at-Large, the host of In Bed with Susie Bright -- and a longtime author, editor, journo, and bookworm. I listen to audio when I'm cooking, playing cards, knitting, going to bed, waking up, driving, and putting other people's kids to bed! My favorite audiobooks, ever, are: "True Grit" and "The Dog of the South."
"To Repair the World" is a collection of calls-to-action Paul Farmer has delivered to medical schools around the country.
Farmer's speeches were designed to inspire the next generation of doctors and health care activists— but they will put a fire under anyone's pants.
In his words, "Resist the impoverishment of aspiration."
The man has remarkable rhetorical gifts, but the power of Farmer's speech comes from the compassion and empathy he’s gained from his experience working in communities without adequate health care.
In the introduction, President Bill Clinton writes of learning about Paul Farmer in a New Yorker profile and calling his daughter Chelsea to ask if she knew of him.
Chelsea told her father that Farmer is "our generation's Albert Schweizer." Good comparison. Schweizer's "reverence for life" translates into Farmer's assertion that health care should be seen as a human right— that all deserve care.
Farmer has an evidence-based conviction: poverty and disease are solvable problems. Faced with a mountain of incalcitrance, you don't grab a pick ax and start chipping away— you invent a new way to bring it all down.
To Repair the World is an excellent collection of Paul Farmer's speeches, most of which were given at university commencements. Paul Farmer has dedicated his life to repairing the world, resolving inequality, and healing the sick no matter what their situation. He ignores common limitations, and in fact, is openly frustrated by arguments around whether care is "worth it" or "cost effective." These speeches share some of his insights and experiences. Paul Farmer deeply cares about humanity--both in the general sense and the very personal sense. These speeches were written to inspire his listeners to use their skills to go do something good to make the world a better place, and they are inspiring.
Those interested in this book should recognize that a collection of speeches is different from a typical nonfiction book. The speeches are very much related, but also independent. There are many recurring themes, but no topic is deeply investigated--after all, you can only be so thorough in 20 minute speech. You get enough to be inspired, but you certainly don't get every detail. As a reader/listener, you are left to do that on your own. His speeches tend to follow a similar pattern, which you pick up on after a few chapters. Additionally, the speeches aren't live recordings, nor are they read by Paul Farmer. The narrator reads them well, but certainly not with the same feeling and delivery as a speech.
Overall, I enjoyed To Repair the World. It is insightful and inspirational.
Dr. Farmer has shown with by his efforts for more than 30 years his deep commitment to making the world a better place. These speeches are a call to action for a new generation that must accompany and continue his important work.
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