This Is a Soul: The Mission of Rick Hodes

This Is a Soul: The Mission of Rick Hodes

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by Marilyn Berger
     
 

"Whoever Saves a Life, It Is Considered as If He Saved an Entire World"

Dr. Rick Hodes arrived in Africa more than two decades ago to help the victims of a famine, but he never expected to call this extremely poor continent his home. Twenty-eight years later, he is still there.

This Is a Soul tells the remarkable story of

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Overview

"Whoever Saves a Life, It Is Considered as If He Saved an Entire World"

Dr. Rick Hodes arrived in Africa more than two decades ago to help the victims of a famine, but he never expected to call this extremely poor continent his home. Twenty-eight years later, he is still there.

This Is a Soul tells the remarkable story of Rick Hodes's journey from suburban America to Mother Teresa's clinic in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. As a boy, Rick was devoted to helping those in need, and eventually he determined that becoming a doctor would allow him to do the most good. When he heard about famine in Africa, that's where he went, and when genocide convulsed Rwanda, he went into the refugee camps to minister to the victims. When he was told that Ethiopia was allowing its Jews to emigrate to Israel, he went to help. While there, he was drawn to Mother Teresa's mission in Addis Ababa. It was there that Rick found his calling when he began caring for the sickest children in one of the world's poorest countries. But he did more than that—he began taking them into his home and officially adopted five of them.

This Is a Soul is also a book filled with great joy and triumph. When Rick's kids return from surgery or life-saving treatments, he is exultant. "Seeing these people after surgery is like going to heaven," he says.

Marilyn Berger went to Africa to write about Dr. Hodes, but while there, she became involved with the story. When she came upon a small, deformed, and malnourished boy begging on the street, she recognized immediately that he had the exact disease Rick could cure. She took him to Rick, who eventually arranged for the boy to have a complicated and risky surgery, which turned out to be incredibly successful. The boy's story—intertwined with Rick's, and Marilyn's as well—is unforgettable in its pathos and subtle humor.

This Is a Soul is not just a story of the savior and the saved, it is a celebration of love and wisdom, and an exploration of how charity and devotion can actually change lives in an overcrowded, unjust, and often harsh world.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061759543
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
04/13/2010
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

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Meet the Author

Marilyn Berger is a contributing writer to the New York Times. She was previously a diplomatic correspondent for Newsday and the Washington Post, and was the United Nations correspondent for ABC News and the White House correspondent for NBC News. She was the moderator on the public affairs program The Advocates and anchored WNET's City Edition. She was the director of programs and public affairs for the Council on Foreign Relations. Her articles have been published in the New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, and New York magazine.

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This Is a Soul: The Mission of Rick Hodes 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
love2read123 More than 1 year ago
In an era when so many public figures prove to disapoint because they are revealed to be morally and/or ethically bankrupt, and when the contrived "trials and tribulations" of faux celebrities and reality tv show participants are fed to a mass population of viewers as "compelling," Marilyn Berger's portrayal of one "ordinary" doctor, Rick Hodes, tending to the most direly sick and needy patients of Ethiopia under the most unimaginable conditions is refreshing and astonishing. Ms. Berger writes beautifully and frankly. She presents the facts of Dr. Hodes's life and mission without rose-colored glasses. The harsh realities of the conditions of Dr. Hodes's patients, his extradinarily challenging medical practice and the hardship and rigor of his daily life, together with the beauty and dignity of his work, shine through. While I'm not sure the question of "why" Dr. Hodes has chosen to live the life of a genuine hero and altruist, or "why" he has thrust himself into an epicenter of poverty and disease can be answered -- a question raised by the author -- the world is certainly fortunate that he, and those who have been inspired by his work, carry on. Not to be lost in this remarkable story is the extremely moving "subplot" of how Ms. Berger herself came to adopt a young and sick boy she rescued from the streets, who faced a certain death. In her own words, Ms. Berger came to this decision "late in life"; the messages here are that "it's never to late to change your life," and that "the life that you save may be your own." Yes, there are still truly "heroes" in the world today. This book deserves a wide audience of readers, and would make a terrific gift for Mothers' or Fathers' Day or to a young graduate. "Pay it forward" and read this book; well done!!
CW46 More than 1 year ago
My husband and I were privileged to get to know Rick when he first came to Dallas to bring two of his sons here for treatment. In our subsequent trip to Ethiopia in December-January of 2008-2009, we spent time with him both in the Mother Teresa Hospital and at his home. We saw him in action at the hospital and were fortunate to be able to spend time at home with the kids, including Danny, right after Danny returned home from Ghana. Marilyn's book gives an incredible portrayal of what we personally experienced on the ground. We personally met many of the children she mentioned in the book, includind Zwedie and Redai. I hope the book serves as an inspiration for much fund raising for Rick's work. There are many more children in need of surgery and Marilyn has brought their stories into your homes. Please reach into your pockets to help them. Carole Wolanow, Dallas Texas
World-Traveller More than 1 year ago
Rarely do I read a book in one day, but such is the case with "This Is a Soul." The story of a doctor from LI who has spent his professional life in places most of us only read about. He lives and works in Ethiopia, where few doctors live. And beyond his professional life, he has adopted five Ethiopian children as a single parent. This book should be required reading for everyone in college. No, it should be required reading for everone!