Pathologies of Power: Health, Human Rights, and the New War on the Poor / Edition 1

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Overview


"This is an angry and a hopeful book, and, like everything Dr. Farmer has written, it has both passion and authority. Pathologies of Power is an eloquent plea for a working definition of human rights that would not neglect the most basic rights of all: food, shelter and health. This plea has special potency because it comes from Dr. Farmer, a person who has proven that the dream of universal and comprehensive human rights is possible, and who has brought food, shelter, health, and hope to some of the poorest people on this earth."—Tracy Kidder, author of The Soul of a New Machine and Home Town

"Farmer's brilliance and charisma leap from the pages of his book. He challenges us to face the urgent theoretical and political challenges of the twenty-first century by linking structural violence to embodied social suffering and in the process calls for a new definition of human rights. Once this book is out, we will no longer be able to remain complacently--or rather, complicitly--on the sidelines."—Philippe Bourgois, author of In Search of Respect: Selling Crack in El Barrio

"A passionate critique of conventional biomedical ethics by one of the world's leading physician-anthropologists and public intellectuals. Farmer's on-the-ground analysis of the relentless march of the AIDS epidemic and multi-drug resistant tuberculosis among the imprisoned and the sick-poor of the world illuminates the pathologies of a world economy that has lost its soul."—Nancy Scheper-Hughes, author of Death without Weeping: the Violence of Everyday Life in Brazil

"In his compelling book, Farmer captures the central dilemma of our times—the increasing disparities of health and well-being within and among societies. While all member countries of the United Nations denounce the gross violations of human rights perpetrated by those who torture, murder, or imprison without due process, the insidious violations of human rights due to structural violence involving the denial of economic opportunity, decent housing, or access to health care and education are commonly ignored. Pathologies of Power makes a powerful case that our very humanity is threatened by our collective failure to end these abuses."—Robert S. Lawrence, President of Physicians for Human Rights and Edyth Schoenrich Professor of Preventive Medicine at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University

"Farmer has given us that most rare of books: one that opens both our minds and hearts. It stands as a model of engaged scholarship and an urgent call for social scientists to forsake their cushy disregard for human rights at home and abroad."—Loïc Wacquant, author of Prisons of Poverty

"Paul Farmer is an original: a powerful writer, an insightful theorist, and a human rights activist on behalf of the health needs of some of the poorest and most excluded people on the planet. Pathologies of Power brings together all his strengths, as a thinker and an activist. Every health worker, human rights teacher, and government official who seeks to improve the health status and life chances of their fellow human beings simply must read this book."—Michael Ignatieff, author of Human Rights as Politics and Idolatry

"Paul Farmer is a great doctor with massive experience working against the hardest of diseases in the most adverse circumstances, and at the same time he is a proficient and insightful anthropologist. Farmer’s knowledge of maladies such as AIDS and drug-resistant tuberculosis, which he fights on behalf of his indigent patients, is hard to match. But what is particularly relevant in appreciating the contribution of this powerful book is that Farmer is a visionary analyst who looks beyond the details of fragmentary explanations to seek an integrated understanding of a complex reality."—Amartya Sen, Nobel Laureate, Economics

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520243262
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 11/22/2004
  • Series: California Series in Public Anthropology Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 438
  • Sales rank: 155,670
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul Farmer

Paul Farmer is Professor of Medical Anthropology at Harvard Medical School and Founding Director of Partners In Health. Among his books are Infections and Inequalities: The Modern Plagues (California, 1999), The Uses of Haiti (1994), and AIDS and Accusation: Haiti and the Geography of Blame (California, 1992). Farmer is the winner of a MacArthur Foundation "genius" award and the Margaret Mead Award for his contributions to public anthropology. He recently held the Blaise Pascal International Chair at the College de France. Amartya Sen, whose work challenges conventional market-driven economic paradigms, is the winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize in economics. He teaches at Trinity College, Cambridge University.
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Read an Excerpt

From the Foreword:
"Paul Farmer is a great doctor with massive experience working against the hardest of diseases in the most adverse circumstances, and, at the same time, he is a proficient and insightful anthropologist. Farmer's knowledge of maladies such as AIDS and drug-resistant tuberculosis, which he fights on behalf of his indigent patients, is hard to match. But what is particularly relevant in appreciating the contribution of this powerful book is that Farmer is a visionary analyst who looks beyond the details of fragmentary explanations to seek an integrated understanding of a complex reality."--Amartya Sen, Nobel Laureate, Economics
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Table of Contents

Foreword
1 On suffering and structural violence : social and economic rights in the global era 29
2 Pestilence and restraint : Guantanamo, AIDS, and the logic of quarantine 51
3 Lessons from Chiapas 91
4 A plague on all our houses? : resurgent tuberculosis inside Russia's prisons 115
5 Health, healing, and social justice : insights from liberation theology 139
6 Listening for prophetic voices : a critique of market-based medicine 160
7 Cruel and unusual : drug-resistant tuberculosis as punishment 179
8 New malaise : medical ethics and social rights in the global era 196
9 Rethinking health and human rights : time for a paradigm shift 213
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2007

    Insightful and moving

    As a twentysomething trying to figure out my career path, I found Farmer's overall message and his obvious passion very inspirational. Though the book deals with grim realities, Farmer offers refreshing and proactive ways to start to grapple with complex human rights issues. Though written from a physician-anthrolopologist's perspective and intended for health professionals/students, it's accessible for layreaders as well. The only weakness is the slight redundancy, since some of the chapters seem to have been adapated from Farmer's previous work and thus overlap considerably. Overall, highly recommended!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2003

    Pathologies of Power is Finally Here

    Once again Dr. Paul Farmer puts his finger on the pulse of the collective poor and marginalized and renders a nuanced analysis of the inequities in health care in the populations that he serves, namely, Cange, Haiti, Peru, Mexico and Russia.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2012

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    Posted October 14, 2008

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