Review of Haiti After the Earthquake, by Paul Farmer


After the Earthquake

by Paul Farmer

PublicAffairs, New York, 2011. 431 pages.
Starred Review

I first heard of Dr. Paul Farmer’s work, bringing health care to poor people all over the world, when I read the books Strength in What Remains and Mountains Beyond Mountains, both by Tracy Kidder.

Paul Farmer has been working in Haiti for decades, doing excellent work there. So when I heard that he had written a book called Haiti After the Quake, I made sure I got my hands on it quickly.

This book tells a sad story of devastation, but ultimately it’s a hopeful book, with a bright outlook for Haiti’s future. It does point out problems with the many non-governmental organizations working in Haiti. For Haiti to thrive, the government needs to be able to provide basic services like water, transportation infrastructure, and healthcare. But he presents good directions to head in the future.

To add to the in-depth analysis, after Dr. Farmer’s section, there are chapters written by eleven distinguished guest writers, many of whom were in Haiti on the day of the quake, and all of whom have a valuable perspective.

This is an important book, and a thoughtful and well-written one.

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Source: This review is based on a library book from the Fairfax County Public Library.

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