Essay Mountains Beyond Mountains

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Writing in 1997, David Bennett rated these three pieces "among the finest reporting to come out of Vietnam." Kidder's second book, The Soul of a New Machine (1981), was much more successful than his first.

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I don't want The Road to Yuba City to see the light of day again.

Kidder has said that, unlike many other writers, he was not much influenced by his Vietnam experience: "Of course, whenever you're in an experience like Vietnam, it is bound to influence your work; it's inevitable, but I really don't think it greatly shaped me as a writer." His works for Atlantic Monthly include several essays and short stories about the Vietnam War, including "The Death of Major Great" (1974), "Soldiers of Misfortune" (1978), and "In Quarantine" (1980).

The story of a doctor’s quest to heal the sick in a poor Haitian community and beyond. Paul Farmer is one of those characters the world could use a few more of, which is why it is great to have this book to put in as many young hands as possible.

He saw something his conscience simply could not abide—the medical neglect of poor people—and then went and did something about it, setting up a clinic to serve the medical needs of an impoverished Haitian neighborhood.

He has explored a wide range of topics through his books, House (1985), a "biography" of a couple having their first house built, and the people involved in the project; Among Schoolchildren (1989), set in an elementary-school classroom in Holyoke, Massachusetts and reflecting on US education through the lives of these 20 children and their teacher (these two books were both bestsellers); and Old Friends (1993), which explored the daily lives and personal growth of a pair of elderly men in a nursing home. Rosenthal Writer-in-Residence at the Harvard Kennedy School's Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy.

His books have made "Notable" annual lists of The New York Times and received positive praise from critics, in addition to awards. At the center, he worked with his onetime editor at The Atlantic, Richard Todd, on a book about writing, titled Good Prose: The Art of Nonfiction.

He has continued to write nonfiction books and articles, and these have been well received by the critics.

Kidder's 2009 book, Strength in What Remains, is a portrait of a man who survived the genocide in Burundi.

Suspicion for his murder had fallen on one of the junta’s local functionaries, a rural sheriff named Nerva Juste, a frightening figure to most people in the region. Army medevac flight for a pregnant Haitian woman in distress, and his commanders had reprimanded him for his pains.

Captain Carroll and his men had brought Juste in for questioning, but they hadn’t found any physical evidence or witnesses. The captain was twenty-nine years old, a devout Baptist from Alabama. From what I’d seen, he and his men had been trying earnestly to make improvements in this piece of Haiti, but Washington, which had decreed that this mission would not include “nation- building,” had given them virtually no tools for that job. Up on the balcony of the barracks now, Captain Carroll was fuming about his latest frustration when someone said there was an American out at the gate who wanted to see him.

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