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 Bernard Kouchner La Biographie by Alain Guillemoles

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Nicole

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Join date : 2008-11-29
Location : New York City

PostSubject: Bernard Kouchner La Biographie by Alain Guillemoles   Tue 11 Aug 2009, 11:01 am

Bernard Kouchner is a founder of Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders). I am an avid supporter of the organization and thought I should know more about it's origins. In recent years, Kouchner has been France's Health Minister.
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Nicole

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Posts : 19
Join date : 2008-11-29
Location : New York City

PostSubject: Bernad Kouchner la biographie by Alain Guillemoles   Sun 13 Sep 2009, 11:10 am

Bernard Kouchner la biographie by Alain Guillemoles
This biography is about a co-founder of Doctors Without Borders, an organization that sends medical first responders anywhere in the world where either natural disasters or human conflicts create medical shortages.

Bernard Kouchner is a gastroenterologist by training, a published journalist, a social activist, a militant and a controversial politician. Bernard is a hero to some and a narcissistic, vain, privileged, and restless loose cannon to others.

Bernard's student years were filled with social street protests against the establishment. Early in his 20s, he met Castro and Che Guevara and made his choice between fighting the system with arms or a medicine bag.
His first mission was to Algeria, followed by Vietnam, Palestine, Biafra, and many other locales. Although a secular Jew, he never forgot his grandparents ordeal and death in World War II concentration camps. The Red Cross' role of providing care packages to concentration camp interned without political follow-up raised a lot of ethical issues for Bernard. He saw this limited outreach as not enough and in some cases as accomplices to the abuses.

His credo is "one can act without believing in the cause, always be on the side of the victims without illusions, because yesterday's victims can quickly become tomorrow's assailants". He has seen fit to use media to convey the message of atrocities ….it is not enough to provide medical care…one must shed world light on the issue.

The author presents a balanced view of Bernard's achievements and failures. Bernard's eagerness to respond to a problem is not necessarily the best long term solution. Doctors Without Borders' growth into a successful fund raising and sustainable enterprise is not Bernard's doing. His lack of respect and patience with professional management created "mission" conflicts. Where he succeeded was in creating a network of eager, willing medical professionals who were able to provide much
needed care in sometimes horrific conditions.

The author's portrait is one of an imperfect man who accomplished a world of good.
My rating: 3.5 stars.
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