Hector Abad’s book Oblivion, A Memoir (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012) begins with the author’s memories of his father, Dr. Héctor Abad Gómez, who developed practical public health programs for the poor in Medellín, Colombia. The increasing violence and human rights abuses of the 1970s and 1980s led the author’s father to fight for social justice in his community. As a physician, he recognized the violence as a societal sickness in need of a cure, but his political views put him at odds with those in power, and they labeled his views as sympathetic to Colombia’s left-wing guerrilla groups. In Oblivion, twenty years after his father was killed by a right-wing death squad, Abad memorializes and pays homage to the man who continues to inspire him today, and he shows us the importance of standing up against injustice.

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