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

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

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by James Orbinski
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0802717098

ISBN-13: 9780802717092

Pub. Date: 09/30/2008

Publisher: Walker & Company

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 and dispassion and evil we hope never to encounter, and faced deep personal torment, James Orbinski still believes in "the good we can be if

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 and dispassion and evil we hope never to encounter, and faced deep personal torment, James Orbinski still believes in "the good we can be if we so choose." His chosen medium for revealing this is stories from his own experience—a doctor's indelible testimony from the front lines in Peru, Somalia, Afghanistan, Rwanda, Zaire—embodied in which are warnings, hope, and lessons in how we can inject humanitarian activity into our lives. Being political, he has discovered, is not only reserved for politicians; admitting imperfection is essential to compassion. With an eye for detail like that of the finest journalist and the empathy of the most committed doctor, Orbinski's powerful voice is matched by the urgency of his message. At a time of great political and moral uncertainty, An Imperfect Offering is invaluable reading for anyone who wants to make a difference.

Excerpt:

"This book is a series of stories in which I ask, again and again, ‘how to be in relation to the suffering of others.' It is a personal narrative about the political journey I have taken over the last twenty years as a humanitarian doctor, as a citizen, and as a man. It is about the mutuality that can exist between us, if we so choose. I have come to see humanitarianism not as separate from politics, but in relation to it, and as a challenge to political choices that too often kill or allow others to be killed. At its best, politics is an imperfect human project. It is at its worst when we delude ourselves into thinking it can be perfect. Speaking is the first political act. It is the first act of liberty, and it always implicitly involves another. In speaking, one inherently recognizes that "I am and I am not alone." In this space lies our humanity." (a composite from chapter 1)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802717092
Publisher:
Walker & Company
Publication date:
09/30/2008
Pages:
448
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.40(d)

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An Imperfect Offering: Humanitarian Action for the Twenty-First Century 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
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I gave this book as a gift to my medical student cousin. She really enjoys it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago