Inspiring words from a global champion who believes in “fulfilling the promises and potential of all children.”
Since the early 1970s, Redlener (Americans at Risk: Why We Are Not Prepared for Megadisasters and What We Can Do, 2006), a Brooklyn-born pediatrician and social justice advocate, has fought for the rights of children and has stationed himself on the front lines of the worldwide fight against poverty. He chronicles his activism through years of medical training and service and describes his altruistic work in some of the most impoverished communities stateside and abroad. On the threshold of immense success in medicine, Redlener, a man “easily seduced by serendipity,” writes of sacrificing a high-tech pediatric cardiology fellowship to accept a directorship at a clinic in rural Arkansas, where poverty, racism, and ignorance fueled attempts to discourage his efforts. In the mid-1980s, Redlener worked with the star-studded “We Are the World” campaign to end starvation in sub-Saharan Africa by helping channel donations toward areas where help was needed most. Perhaps Redlener’s most prized achievement and the one that put his name on the radar of pediatric poverty activism was his 1987 collaboration with his health care administrator wife, Karen Redlener, and singer Paul Simon in the creation of the Children’s Health Fund, established after the author witnessed the condition of children living in Manhattan’s Martinique Hotel homeless shelter. Written with compassion and honesty, Redlener’s memoir documents the ways humans can work collaboratively for the greater good. The voices of the many at-risk children who’ve received Redlener’s help echo throughout the text alongside pages of anecdotes from his global work. Illustrating the years throughout his career is a centerfold section of photographs. Readers eager to discover better ways to become involved in the global poverty crisis will find Redlener’s motivating history a terrific jumping-off point.
Motivating and immensely uplifting; an engaging intimate memoir about impassioned connectedness with children in dire need.