Pathologies of Power
Health, Human Rights, and the New War on the Poor
by Dr. Paul Farmer
2006 J. I. Staley Prize
A distinguished committee of anthropologists convened by the School for Advanced Research recently selected Dr. Paul Farmer’s Pathologies of Power: Health, Human Rights, and the New War on the Poor (University of California Press) as winner of the 2006 J. I. Staley Prize for outstanding book in anthropology. Described by one reviewer as “superb physician, a penetrating anthropologist, and a prophet of social justice,” Dr. Farmer is The Maude and Lillian Presley Professor of Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He will receive the $10,000 Staley Prize on March 29, 2007 at a special ceremony hosted by SAR at the annual meeting of the Society for Applied Anthropology in Tampa, Florida.
Passionate and principled in his claim that health care is a fundamental human right, Dr. Farmer draws upon 20 years of front-line clinical experience among the poorest social outcasts in Haiti, Peru, Boston, and Russia to shake readers from complacency and mobilize them to action. Farmer identifies poverty and illness as a spiral of human degradation that can only be arrested by concerted acts of individual and social conscience. As a medical doctor Farmer is able to comprehend human suffering; as an anthropologist he brings its social and economic roots urgently alive for the reader.
In making the announcement SAR president James F. Brooks commented, “Dr. Farmer’s work in social medicine has drawn acclaim for many years. His contributions to human well-being as an anthropologist are less well known. With this award Dr. Farmer’s extraordinary ability to link medicine and social science in the quest for human dignity receive full acknowledgment.”
Dr. Paul Farmer, Maude and Lillian Presley Professor of Social Medicine, Department of Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School and founding director of Partners in Health