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

By Paul Farmer | Go to book overview

PRAISE FOR PAUL FARMER'S PATHOLOGIES OF POWER

“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 Professor of Preventive Medicine, Johns Hopkins University

Pathologies of Power is 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 multidrug-resistant tuberculosis among the imprisoned and the sickpoor 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

“Wedding medicine and anthropology, painstaking clinical and field observation with rigorous conceptual elaboration, Farmer gives us that most rare of books: one that opens both our minds and hearts. Pathologies of Power uses the prism of public health to illuminate the structural forces that decide the 'right to survive' on the global stage. From Haiti to Russia to the United States, Farmer reveals the drama of the social production of mass sickness, suffering, and death without dramatizing, and then grapples with the tough moral issues without moralizing. He shows how market rule results in vertiginous violations of basic social and economic rights that in turn translate into escalating pathologies that ravage the poor. This book 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

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