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

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  149 ratings  ·  22 reviews
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...more
Hardcover, 294 pages
Published May 1st 2013 by University of California Press (first published January 1st 2013)
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What an inspiring read! So many things in this book made me think, "yes, yes, yes"! Paul Farmer is my new hero, or, perhaps more accurately, I want to be him when I grow up. I found so many things in this book inspiring - his spirituality, his view of medicine, his hopes for the world - it makes me interested in learning more about him and his organization (Partners in Health).

This book is a compilation of speeches, mostly commencement addresses, which is both a really nice format and a little...more
I won this from a goodreads giveaway.
I had never heard of Paul Farmer before I entered the giveaway (I'm ashamed to say) and was excited to dig into To Repair the World. He's a brilliant writer. This book contains a series of speeches given at prestigious medical schools and schools of public health. You can tell that Paul really, truly cares about getting health care for those who need it most and wants to inspire the younger generation (specifically those in the medical field) that they too c...more
It's amazing when you read Paul Farmer and realize what he has accomplished and then you are left to question why things can't be better. The excuses fall away rapidly.
Paul Farmer is an idol in the anthropology and medical field so when this book was assigned as a required read for a class I am taking I was very excited. The material is wonderful and you can feel his passion about the topics of wealth inequality, infectious diseases and global perspectives. My only quip about this book is that I can only read so many graduation speeches meant to be heard by doctors so many times before getting distracted. I fell asleep reading this book a few times and sometim...more
Scott Haraburda
Goodreads First Reads Giveaway Book.


Looking for inspiration to make a better world, read To Repair the World: Paul Farmer Speaks to the Next Generation. It’s a collection of about twenty speeches, primarily commencement talks to our educated young adults. Primarily, it’s a collection of Dr. Paul Farmer’s speeches on global health and social justice issues. He’s the co-author of the 1996 book, Women, Poverty, and AIDS: Sex, Drugs, and Structural Violence, and a...more
I did not read about this book before purchasing it, so I think I mistakenly expected a traditional book by Paul Farmer (whose work I appreciate immensely!) that would really dive into advice and wisdom about global public health, development, tackling the world's most challenging issues, etc. But it's just a collection of his speeches at graduations and conferences. So, you get an interesting high level nugget or two in each "chapter" but there isn't much continuity, and it's pretty superficial...more
Jonathan Hiskes
A collection of speeches by the doctor, humanitarian, and co-founder of Partners in Health about his life's work improving the lives of Haitians, Rwandans, Siberians, Peruvians, and others. He believes they deserve not just charity health care, but the same levels of health care and education that wealthy nations are capable of providing their own citizens. I tried to find ways to dismiss Farmer's challenge, failed, and am left considering his own life in awe and my own in trepidation.
A must read type of book for anyone who cares about social justice issues or health care. It is a series of Farmer's graduation speeches and it would be valuable to even read 2-3 of the speeches. Farmer is a medical doctor and has a Ph.D in anthropology. He teaches medicine in the US and devotes a large part of his work to delivering and developing health care systems and facilities in Haiti and other regions in the world.

He talks about the difference between providing "aid" and accompanying oth...more
The speeches themselves are inspiring, but if I could go back I would not have read it cover to cover. This would be a good book to pick up every now and again when you're in the mood to be challenged or need a good bit of inspiration. Reading straight through though becomes a bit repetitive, especially since many if the speeches are aimed at audiences of graduates. Most start with the same sort of story on how Farmer decided on what to say this particular class, how he wrote his speech and what...more
This book is less edifying than Paul Farmer's usual writings, but instead is more of an inspirational piece that allows the reader to build off of his passion and sense of urgency expressed through speeches. This is a great book to keep in your desk drawer if you are in the international development, human services, or health fields. On a bad day, take your break to read one of the speeches (they're short and can be read in about 15 minutes) to help you feel a renewed energy and commitment to se...more
This was a magnificent book to read - and it comes at the right time (in my life, in our city’s life, in our nation’s life). These speeches, mainly given at commencements, are brilliant, witty and challenging words to call us to see the world, and all its people more clearly. The author speaks to graduates and reminds them to pay attention to those that the world treats as invisible. He holds up the complexity of the issues and the problems involved. He tells stories. In the midst of horrendous...more
Fantastic, inspiring snippets from Paul Farmer! The format, a collection of speeches, kept the book lighthearted despite the sometimes heavy hitting stories that he told. A very motivating read for those interested in, indeed "repairing the world" with all its inequalities, discrimination, and sick untreated patients. I love knowing that there are in fact people who are DOING things to fix the wrongs in the world. My only complaint about this book is that constantly reading speech introductions...more
Paul Farmer is one of my heroes. I generally like his writing and am in concert with his philosophy. However, this book is a collection of speeches – a number given at graduations and convocations, others at conferences. There is a similarity and lack of depth that seems to go along with these kind of talks and I simply grew tired of reading the same thing over and over.

If you have not read works by Paul Farmer do NOT start here. Start with another book.
collection of speeches, some great, some ok
Malin Friess
This book is a collection of short speeches given by Dr. Paul Farmer an advocate for global health. I find that text meant to be given as a speech at a graduation does not resonate nearly as well in book form. I'm sure these chapters would have been more fascinating if you were actually attending the Harvard School of Public Health Graduation.

1 star.

For a great speech see Steve Jobs commencement speech at Stanford on You Tube.
To repair the world is an incredibly inspiring and moving set of speeches that Paul Farmer has done to promote his Organization Partner's in Health, and Bringing healthcare to the poor in Haiti and Rwanda. He implores graduates and faculty to strive towards and create an equal system where healthcare is available to all. While his speeches feel slightly redundant after awhile, his message resonates with me greatly.
Paul Farmer is one of those people who makes me believe individuals can make a difference. I bought this book because I was looking for accessible readings for college students that could help frame a service learning experience in Ethiopia. I found two essays that I think will be perfect for the class. In addition, his stories leave me feeling energized and committed as I expand my teaching to address social justice.
I think more people should definitely read this book; it's very informative and eye-opening without being dry. My only complaint is that, as it's a collection of speeches many commencement speeches, it can seem a bit repetitive as you near the end (at least fact wise), but I suppose that was the point. The facts are important; pay attention to them.
This is a wonderful collection of Dr. Paul Farmer's speeches, many of them being graduation speeches. It is easy to pick up and find a speech you'd like to read based on one of the themes by which the book is organized. Despite the target audience often being the young graduates, his words and ideas can inspire anyone, and always mean to do so.
So inspiring. I am now a huge fan of Dr. Paul Farmer and yes, one person can still make a difference in our world; not only a difference, but have a huge impact. I highly recommend this read. It will change you. It did me.
of course the words of paul farmer are inspiring- however this is a compilation of speeches. no speech really goes into great depth and dr. farmer was addressing wide audiences. it was pretty good, and worth reading, but not life changing
Momo Ozawa
I love Paul Farmer and I feel blessed to be virtually invited to "hear" his commencement speeches at various universities. Inspiring and witty. Very light & quick read.
Dr. Farmer's speeches collected. His chance to rant against the machine and for the health and sustainablility of mankind, individually and collectively.
Excellent collection of Paul Farmer's speeches throughout the years. Great for a quick pick-me-up for those fighting the "good" fight.
Not my cup of tea… I appreciate Farmer’s humanitarianism but somehow this one did not connect with me.
Kate Pipa
inspirational! collection of paul farmer's speeches and excerpts from his work.
Jun 11, 2013 Jamie added it
Great read and great listen at night if you have Audible
Speed Rogers
phenomenal, truly inspirational.
Everyone should read this book.
Amy Eischens
Nov 02, 2013 Amy Eischens marked it as to-read
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Paul Farmer is a U.S. anthropologist and physician, the Presley Professor of Medical Anthropology in the Department of Social Medicine at Harvard University, and an attending physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. In May 2009 he was named chairman of Harvard Medical School's Department of Global Health and Social Medicine. His medical specialty is infectious diseases....more
More about Paul Farmer...
Pathologies of Power: Health, Human Rights and the New War on the Poor Infections and Inequalities: The Modern Plagues Haiti: After the Earthquake AIDS and Accusation: Haiti and the Geography of Blame The Uses of Haiti

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