On Wednesday, Sept 30th at 7pm, New Yorker journalist Larissa MacFarquhar will be at MPC to discuss Strangers Drowning: Grappling with Impossible Idealism, Drastic Choices, and the Overpowering Urge to Help. We hope you can join us for what is sure to be a thought-provoking, inspiring and challenging evening.
About the Book
There are those of us who help and those who live to help. How far would you really go to “do unto others”? In Strangers Drowning: Grappling with Impossible Idealism, Drastic Choices, and the Overpowering Urge to Help, renowned New Yorker writer Larissa MacFarquhar digs deep into the psychological roots and existential dilemmas motivating those rare individuals practicing lives of extreme ethical commitment. MacFarquhar seeks out people who devote themselves fully to bettering the lives of strangers—even when it comes at great personal cost—and tells their deeply intimate stories: their stubborn integrity and their compromises; their bravery and their recklessness; their joys and defeats and wrenching dilemmas.
We honor such generosity and high ideals, but when we call people “do-gooders” there is skepticism in it, even hostility. Why do moral people make us uneasy? How could these do-gooders value strangers as much as their own loved ones? MacFarquhar combines these real-life stories of unimaginable selflessness along with deep meditations on the implications of these ethical acts. Throughout, she threads a lively history of the novels, philosophy, social science, and self-help that have contributed to a deep suspicion of do-gooders in Western culture.
(source: Penguin Press)
About the Author
Larissa MacFarquhar has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1998. Her subjects have included John Ashbery, Barack Obama, and Noam Chomsky, among many others. Previously she was a senior editor at Lingua Franca and an advisory editor at The Paris Review. She lives in New York.
Please contact the church main office with questions. Hope to see you there!
Author photo credit: Philip Gourevitch