A Fortunate Man: The Story of a Country Doctor

A Fortunate Man The Story of a Country Doctor In this quietly revolutionary work of social observation and medical philosophy Booker Prize winning writer John Berger and the photographer Jean Mohr train their gaze on an English country doctor an

  • Title: A Fortunate Man: The Story of a Country Doctor
  • Author: John Berger Jean Mohr
  • ISBN: 9780679737261
  • Page: 486
  • Format: Paperback
  • In this quietly revolutionary work of social observation and medical philosophy, Booker Prize winning writer John Berger and the photographer Jean Mohr train their gaze on an English country doctor and find a universal man one who has taken it upon himself to recognize his patient s humanity when illness and the fear of death have made them unrecognizable to themselves IIn this quietly revolutionary work of social observation and medical philosophy, Booker Prize winning writer John Berger and the photographer Jean Mohr train their gaze on an English country doctor and find a universal man one who has taken it upon himself to recognize his patient s humanity when illness and the fear of death have made them unrecognizable to themselves In the impoverished rural community in which he works, John Sassall tend the maimed, the dying, and the lonely He is not only the dispenser of cures but the repository of memories And as Berger and Mohr follow Sassall about his rounds, they produce a book whose careful detail broadens into a meditation on the value we assign a human life First published thirty years ago, A Fortunate Man remains moving and deeply relevant no other book has offered such a close and passionate investigation of the roles doctors play in their society In contemporary letters John Berger seems to me peerless not since Lawrence has there been a writer who offers such attentiveness to the sensual world with responsiveness to the imperatives of conscience Susan Sontag

    • Best Read [John Berger Jean Mohr] ✓ A Fortunate Man: The Story of a Country Doctor || [Humor and Comedy Book] PDF ☆
      486 John Berger Jean Mohr
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    About "John Berger Jean Mohr"

    1. John Berger Jean Mohr

      John Peter Berger was an English art critic, novelist, painter and author His novel G won the 1972 Booker Prize, and his essay on art criticism Ways of Seeing, written as an accompaniment to a BBC series, is often used as a college text.Later he was self exiled to continental Europe, living between the french Alps in summer and the suburbs of Paris in winter Since then, his production has increased considerably, including a variety of genres, from novel to social essay, or poetry One of the most common themes that appears on his books is the dialectics established between modernity and memory and loss, Another of his most remarkable works has been the trilogy titled Into Their Labours, that includes the books Pig Earth 1979 , Once In Europa 1983 Lilac And Flag 1990 With those books, Berger makes a meditation about the way of the peasant, that changes one poverty for another in the city This theme is also observed in his novel King, but there he focuses in the rural diaspora and the bitter side of the urban way of life.


    1. Recommended reading for all GPs and GP trainers and trainees. Not only a n honest insight into being a GP, John Berger's speculation about the philosophy of care and underlying motivations about work ethic deserve discussion. Is Dr Sewell as a solo GP with a high degree of procedural as well as psychological medicine living and working in his practice community an anachronism or the doctor of the future he asks and prophetically speculates from 1967 that computers will one day make better diagno [...]

    2. I would have given five stars if this had been mostly about the photographs (which are superb), and I would have given five stars if this had been mostly about the case studies - both these elements were wonderful. I was also really interested in how Berger saw Sassall's relationship with his patients, how he felt he needed to imagine what it was like to be them, to almost become them, and also the essay on anguish and how it takes us back to childhood. I understand that all books are a product [...]

    3. This is a wonderful little book and a genre I haven't yet seen. First published in 1967. A writer and a photographer shadowed the writer's friend, an exceptional doctor, as he made visits to patients in his small town in England. The first third consists of sketches of individual cases they witnessed, and the rest covers wide-ranging philosophical/psychological reflections on what these patients get from their doctor, what this doctor gets from his patients, and the effect of the class differenc [...]

    4. This little piece of non-fiction is stunning. It describes the life of a doctor in rural England and his interaction with his patients. It isn't very traditional. There are several short stories, or even flash-length pieces in there, and the whole book is illustrated with actual photos. Philosophically, it discusses what it means to be a doctor and to share such intimate secrets with your patients, what it means to heal and what it means to belong to a community.I think I want to reread this boo [...]

    5. I first read this for a sophomore seminar in 2003. Recently, I've made many "life" decisions and I decided to read the book again. It was completely worth it! Berger chronicles the work of Dr. Sassall in a remote English village. The book was written in the 1960s and is also a photo-essay with fantastic photography of the doctor, patients, community, and countryside. Berger starts off with simple vignettes but then gets quite philosophical, integrating the influence of Sassall's childhood and ed [...]

    6. Otro de los libros obligados que se quedarán en mi cabecera para leer, releer y subrayar todas las ideas que se esconden en este ensayo.Me ha sorprendido mucho porque no me lo esperaba como no-ficción. Pero sobretodo porque sin querer John Berger habla de Salutogénesis y Activos en Salud sin mencionarlos directamente: está constantemente planteando las angustias de Sassall ante las incertidumbres y malestares de los pacientes, en el soporte social de una comunidad, en la resiliencia de las a [...]

    7. even if the main stream of the book seems the life of a doctor in a rural area, his relationship with his patients and his role in that community, after reading the book the readers actually feel the sorrow of a man who tries to understand humans(as the given quote of Goethe) and suffers when he can not help them in some cases. beyond this, Berger asks some questions which are hard to answer(actually paradox) such as the worth of human life or the worth of the moment(by the side of children and [...]

    8. A portrait in words and photographs of the life and practice of an English country doctor in the middle of the Twentieth Century. The book is at its best when describing the practice and presenting case studies. However, it becomes tedious when the essay descends into philosophical and speculative musings about the psychological underpinnings of the doctor’s practice, his motivations for undertaking it and his relationship with his patients.It rates 2.5 stars.

    9. Anyone with an interest in medicine would benefit from the this book. It is a powerful discussion of the doctor's role in his or her community. John Berger is a writer particularly adept at both telling one man's story and teasing out some of its larger implications. The book is perhaps more relevant now then it was in the 60's when it was written. Medicine has taken an unfortunate turn away from doctors tending to their community in the intimate way detailed here.

    10. This is a gem, I loved the images particularly, the way they were within and contributing to not only the text, but the feel of that time. It was evocative of my grandparents era, of farming and medicine, of stoicism and of the humility of truly heroic humans.

    11. On page 125, close to the end of this rather long-ass essay, the author wonders "whether I begin to make myself clear." It's the sort of question that won't actually wait for an answer because the man is immediately again on his merry way. Of course this work may not be for general readers, but you may get the feeling that that's not because the author doesn't want it to be, but rather because he can't make it so. It starts off well. The subject is very interesting, the country doctor as a conce [...]

    12. A startlingly humane portrait of a doctor practising medicine in rural England in the 1960s - the type of universalist country doctor (part priest, part magician, part healer) that doesn't exist anymore. Berger writes intelligently and empathetically about what it is to heal, what makes a good doctor (as opposed to "talented" or "clever"), and how we evaluate the worth of a human life. Jean Mohr's observant, un-intrusive photographs are just as much a part of the essay as Berger's words are.

    13. This is an extraordinary book. Will need much time to process. What is the value of a human life. What does it all mean? How do you judge the value of a person according to what they contribute to the world? What is the personal cost of empathy?

    14. This is a very special book. A subtle and clear reflection on what it means to be a doctor, to care and to treat illness, in modern Western society. The photographs - and the relation between photographs and text - are also remarkable; sparse and mysterious, but true.

    15. YES. Berger brings his considerable gifts to meet with Mohr's usually-delicate, soft-touch documentary photograph: both come to bear on the idea of a country doctor with amazing results. First there are short vignettes of practice; then, following, a sustained consideration of the place of doctors, suffering, and humanity; only then, in conclusion, does Berger attempt some kind of conclusion. Along the way there are so many beautiful moments. In the vignettes, told with Berger's usually brisk bu [...]

    16. Cualquier carrera de medicina que se precie debería tener este libro como lectura obligatoria en uno de sus primeros cursos. No es una novela; más bien es una suerte de reflexión o ensayo sobre la medicina con motivo de las historias y vivencias de un médico rural en Inglaterra.Recupera para la medicina algo que muchos pensaron que se perdió por el camino: la humanidad que debe ir inextricablemente unida a ella. Sassall, el protagonista, es un buen médico.Como no podía ser menos en un lib [...]

    17. No suelo leer, y menos copiar, las palabras de la contraportada pero esta vez me viene al pelo así que mis disculpas por el descaro:En 1967 John Berger y el fotógrafo Jean Mohr acompañaron a John Sassall, un médico inglés que ejercía su profesión en una comunidad rural. La obra narra varias historias del trabajo de Sassall con sus pacientes, a la vez que revela pensamientos sobre su profesión y su vida para acercarnos gradualmente al hombre. Las fotografías de Jean Mohr marcan rasgos in [...]

    18. I picked up this book on author Sarah Perry's (whose 2016 book The Essex Serpent was one of my favorite reads from last year) enthusiasm for it on Twitter (it's a little embarrassing, but hey). When I checked out the cover, there was a blurb from another favorite author of mine, Alain de Botton. So, it seemed like a no brainer.The book itself is a cool combination of prose and photographs from John Berger and Jean Mohr examining the life of a country doctor. The doctor is an educated, worldly, a [...]

    19. Read this one for a longitudinal elective at school. I probably wouldn't have picked it up otherwise, and now that I'm on the other side of it I don't know that I would really have missed it. Like some other reviewers mentioned, this seems a little bit more the story of a quiet country town than that of a the doctor himself. It could have been the writer's style I dunno.I will say that it made me contemplate a rural practice more than I had in a while. There were also a couple of interesting poi [...]

    20. This is a fascinating if prescientific reflection on medical practice. Berger was an art critic, writer, and poet whose work included sociological pieces. This particular work is among them. It begins with a few portraits of interactions between the country doctor and his patients. Then it reflects on the man. It analyzes how he began his career with frank impatience for anything that wasn't an emergency. This impatience was gratified by his early military career and -when he took over a country [...]

    21. This came in the mail with a note: Happy unbirthday, if you don’t like it please don’t tell me – John. I figured this must be a certain friend, the book a reciprocation for The art of travel, the “if you don’t like it” part a reference to my non-appreciation of The wind in the willows, which I should check out from the library and give another chance. It’s a nearly 40 year old exquisite meditation on relationships, culture, conversation, the human body, probably death, all based on [...]

    22. �Desde D. H. Lawrence no ha existido un escritor capaz de ofrecer al mundo tal atenci�n sobre los problemas humanos m�s dis�miles, con una sensualidad que no renuncia a los imperativos de conciencia y responsabilidad.� SUSAN SONTAG En 1967 John Berger y el fot�grafo Jean Mohr acompa�aron a John Sassall, un m�dico ingl�s que ejerc�a su profesi�n en una comunidad rural. La obra narra varias historias del trabajo de Sassall con sus pacientes, a la vez que revela pensamientos s [...]

    23. This is one of those books that I desperately wished I enjoyed more. The first third is composed of short lyric essays that follow a country doctor in the 1960s. They are beautifully composed, thoughtful and striking. They are nearly perfect. The second two thirds of the book is a protracted essay about the doctor in question, part biography, and a philosophical discussion by the author on the nature of man, of the universal man, and on our society today. It is an interesting essay and well comp [...]

    24. John Berger follows a country doctor, writing of what typical life is like for him and his patients.The second half is more philosophical. He starts to question how does society value the life or deeds of a country doctor, and how does society value human life in general.The mixture of non-fiction and photography is what drew my attention. I finished this in just over a day. Its closer to a long essay than a short book. If you like this type of writing:"english autumn mornings are often like mor [...]

    25. Really a philosophical treatise trying to understand why a Dr might place himself at "risk" by becoming so close to his patients. Very much of its time because of the psychotherapeutic angle however to day we'd probably be using a broader biopsychosocial approach/model. It also reflects what general practice isn't any longer, the breadth of "Sassall's" practice in an isolated community no longer happens, Community Hospitals need consultant cover, ambulance services can call helicopter medics and [...]

    26. What a revelation this book was! It's ostensibly a portrait - in words and photographs - of an NHS GP working in a quiet Gloucestershire village. But the doctor's own thoughtfulness, coupled with the writer's sociological description of his role in society at large makes the whole thing feel fantastically deep. It becomes a meditation on what it means to live a full life in an imperfect society. The writer is clearly from a left wing academic tradition, and his viewpoint colours the narrative bu [...]

    27. An intriguing, candid, though metaphysical and philosophical at times, and honest look at a family medicine doctor set in rural England circa 1960's. Very much similar to a James Harriet book, though a biography instead. It is not an easy read in that there is much to digest mentally, it is more the attributes and demons that this doctor has or has to deal with that is discussed rather than day in and day out stories, though there are some of those. It is a a very honest book and as far as I can [...]

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