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Extreme Altruists

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In Jacques-Louis David's 1781 painting, disgraced Byzantine general Belisarius receives alms from a peasant.

 

How far do you go to honor the Golden Rule, to “do unto others”? Chances are you don’t go nearly as far as the people profiled in journalist Larissa MacFarquhar’s new book. The donor who offers up his kidney to a complete stranger; the activist who abandons his normal life to care for lepers; the couple that gives most of their income to charity. These people truly live to help others. MacFarquhar joins us Tuesday to explore what extreme altruists can teach us about what it means to be human. [Rebroadcast]

Larissa MacFarquhar has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1998. Previously she was a senior editor at Lingua Franca and an advisory editor at The Paris Review. Her new book is called Strangers Drowning: Grappling with Impossible Idealism, Drastic Choices, and the Overpowering Urge to Help [Amazon|Indiebound].

Doug Fabrizio has been reporting for KUER News since 1987, and became News Director in 1993. In 2001, he became host and executive producer of KUER's RadioWest, a one hour conversation/call-in show on KUER 90.1 in Salt Lake City. He has gained a reputation for his thoughtful style. He has interviewed everyone from Isabel Allende to the Dalai Lama, and from Madeleine Albright to Desmond Tutu. His interview skills landed him a spot as a guest host of the national NPR program, "Talk of the Nation." He has won numerous awards for his reporting and for his work with RadioWest and KUED's Utah NOW from such organizations as the Society of Professional Journalists, the Utah Broadcasters Association, the Public Radio News Directors Association and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
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