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An Imperfect Offering: Humanitarian Action for the Twenty-First Century

Overview

From one of the world’s greatest humanitarian activists comes a searing personal memoir that is also an urgent call to confront suffering in all its many forms.

Having seen things we hope never to see, confronted suffering, dispassion, and evil we hope never to encounter, James Orbinski still believes in “the good we can be if we so choose.” Recounting stories from his own experience, embodied in which are warnings, hope, and lessons in how we can inject humanitarian activity ...

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An Imperfect Offering: Humanitarian Action for the Twenty-First Century

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Overview

From one of the world’s greatest humanitarian activists comes a searing personal memoir that is also an urgent call to confront suffering in all its many forms.

Having seen things we hope never to see, confronted suffering, dispassion, and evil we hope never to encounter, James Orbinski still believes in “the good we can be if we so choose.” Recounting stories from his own experience, embodied in which are warnings, hope, and lessons in how we can inject humanitarian activity into our lives, An Imperfect Offering is invaluable reading for anyone who feels he or she can make a difference.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“The cataclysm of butchery that engulfed far too many places and took far too many lives began after the fall of communism…Orbinski reminds us of exactly what our victory in the C old War wrought.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“With vivid personal anecdote, Orbinski chronicles the struggle around humanitarian intervention in one hotspot after another across the planet. In a narrative of grace and power, he displays the intense components of his remarkable life: integrity, compassion and principle. He is undaunted in the face of the worst the world has to offer. He is determined to salve the wounds of humankind. He is a truly committed man, mind and soul throbbing with incandescent decency.” — Stephen Lewis, Former UN Special Envoy

“James Orbinski has lived for years in the middle of the worst that humans can be, and somehow emerged with both his compassion and his desire to understand us intact. He is a marvellous storyteller, and the stories he has to tell are some of the most powerful I have ever read.” — Stephanie Nolen, author of 28: Stories of AIDS in Africa

“In this complex era of massive abuses to human rights by governments in too many countries, it is suprising to read such a poignant book that describes, without fanfare, the constant ethical, moral, and even legal dilemmas that those in the field must confront hundreds of times a day. Clarity, compassion and commitment are presented in spades in this book about those who are fighting the lack of political will that too often fails to prevent man's inhumanity to man.” — L.Gen. Roméo Dallaire, author of Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda

"An essential text for our dire times. Orbinski plunges into the heartbreak, the maelstrom, the moral dilemmas of the genocide territories of the world — Rwanda, Kosovo, Sudan — and finds there enough courage and redemption for us all to feel that there is hope for our sad humanity." — Ariel Dorfman

“A doctor who has witnessed the worst forms of inhumanity in hot spots around the globe takes an unflinching look at the political and economic forces that provoke human suffering and offers a moving meditation on the nature of humanitarianism.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“A powerful synthesis of analysis and activism.”—Booklist

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802717627
  • Publisher: Walker & Company
  • Publication date: 9/29/2009
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 725,297
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

James Orbinski is past international president of Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders, and accepted the Nobel Peace Prize for MSF in 1999. I n 2004, he left MSF to found Dignitas International, an organization for people living with HIV/AIDS in the developing world. He lives in Canada.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2010

    Great gift

    I gave this book as a gift to my medical student cousin. She really enjoys it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2010

    excellent. accurate. honest. and compassionate

    this is an excellent account of a field doctor's experience. i recommend it to anyone and everyone. it takes a very skilled, informed, and passionate person to write such an excellent novel. this book should be considered essential reading for those who wish to go into the medical field, or even people who simply wish to try to understand the human struggle for peace, health, and resolve to conflicts. once again, this book is riviting.

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