Strangers Drowning - Larissa Macfarquhar

This book chronicles the strangely compelling lives of people best described as extreme altruists, those beset by a constant anxiety that if they do not work ceaselessly toward alleviating the misery of the poor and downtrodden, then they are complicity in that suffering. MacFarquhar, a longtime staff writer for the New Yorker, devotes each chapter to profiling a specific altruist. In doing so, she traverses a fascinating landscape from an Indian leper colony, to a Nicaraguan health clinic, to an American family who chooses to adopt 22 children. She also explores the long intellectual debate over the nature of altruism, from utilitarian thinkers who believe it is necessary for everyone to be altruists, to Freud and others who view altruists as inherently selfish and masochistic.

Strangers Drowning: Impossible Idealism, Drastic Choices, and the Urge to Help By Larissa MacFarquhar Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143109785
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - September 27th, 2016