But beyond that, the quest for a malaria cure became emblematic for me of humanitarian endeavors in general, especially those that presented such huge challenges that success had eluded us time and again. The more I discovered about malaria research, the more I became convinced that it held clues to how any quest of this magnitude, with so many attempts and failures behind it, could finally succeed. And the more I looked for answers, the more I came to believe that it is the character of the people doing the work that is the key. Their methods can be baffling and surprising, and sometimes they can even be unreasonable. They are different from the rest of the crowd. And I wanted to understand how they were different.
This book is inspired by Alima's memory. But beyond being a celebration of her, it is a tribute to the quest undertaken by a small number of heroic idealists. It is a tribute to the imaginations of unreasonable men.