Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder

2613 Words11 Pages
There are people existing among us with a special trait or characteristic that makes them stand out above the masses. They are “heroes” in a sense, who perform great acts of sacrifice and promote hope when it seems that the last drop of faith has evaporated from one’s soul. These individuals remind us of saints who walked before us, healing and caring for the sick and destitute when no other man dared. Author, Tracy Kidder (2004), brings to the forefront the noble deeds of a modern day saint, Paul Farmer, through his writing in Mountains Beyond Mountains. He illustrates how a single man can lead nations toward healing, even in the midst of war, turmoil, limited resources, or “mountains” of bureaucratic red tape. Although the book tells a story about Farmer’s life, academic achievements, and global contributions toward curing infectious diseases, the main theme, as illustrated by the book title, is that no matter what a person does, there is always more to be done. Beyond the hills and valleys of Farmer’s journey, Kidder (2004) provides scenes of leadership styles along the way. Is a leader born or is leadership learned? A review of Paul Farmer’s mission, through the eyes of the author, may provide insight to support both philosophies.

Kidder is an accomplished writer. Having been educated at Harvard and University of Iowa, and having served as a lieutenant in Vietnam (Twenty12fttrees, 2010), he brings research and experience together creating a soul-searching composition in Mountains Beyond Mountains. He is well versed and extremely credible having dedicated so much time immersing himself in the midst of Farmer’s journey. Not only does he take time to review and research Farmer’s published work, he travels across tim...

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...ity through medicine, but Kidder (2004) allows the reader to see that Farmer may be curing humanity on many levels by creating an environment in impoverished locations where malnourishment and disease need not exist; where life doesn’t have to end early; where safety and basic needs are met, and where individuals are given a more conducive environment from which leaders can emerge.

Works Cited

Kidder, T. (2004). Mountains Beyond Mountains. New York, NY: Random House Publishing Group.

Popple, P. R, & L. Leighninger. (2011). Social Work, Social Welfare, and American Society. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.

Stohr, M. K, & P. Collins. (2009). Criminal Justice Management. Oxford, NY: Oxford University Press, Inc.

Twenty12fttrees (2010). About Tracy Kidder. Retrieved Oct. 23, 2011, from
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