The fascinating and timely quest of a longtime New York Times contributor to follow Mahatma Gandhi’s code of ethics in today’s world. In Becoming Gandhi, veteran journalist and author Perry Garfinkel sets out on a three-year quest to examine how Gandhi’s ideals have held up in a world beset with troubling trends. In one chilling admission, one of Gandhi’s own grandsons tells Garfinkel that humans will always retain a degree of violence. Where does this leave modern society? “When I despair,” the Mahatma had said, “I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won.” To many he was a beacon of hope, a true moral compass; to others, a divisive lightning rod for controversy. Garfinkel takes to heart one of Gandhi’s most famous sayings―“Be the change you want to see in the world”―and attempts a personal transformation. Committing to practice the Mahatma’s six main principles―truth, nonviolence, vegetarianism, simplicity, faith, and celibacy―he seeks to better himself, facing successes and failures that at times lead to self-effacing humour. Perry undertook a unique journey of self-discovery by tracing Gandhi’s footsteps from India to England to South Africa and even American communities where Gandhi’s spirit endures. Featuring inspiring interviews, provocative reflections, and remarkable encounters, Becoming Gandhi shares new perspectives on this pivotal figure and why his teachings are needed like never before.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Perry Garfinkel has contributed to The New York Times since 1986, covering trends in culture, health, psychology, spirituality, business, cuisine, and travel. He wrote the U.S. bestselling book, Buddha or Bust: In Search of Truth, Meaning and Happiness, and the Man Who Found Them All which was also published in Italy and Brazil.
He has traveled in and written about India from the days when he was a hippie on the trail of a guru. Since 2004 he has come almost every year as accomplished journalist. He’s also been a consultant to one of India’s most prominent hotel groups, as well as to the House of Mewar in Udaipur, Rajasthan.
He worked as reporter and/or editor for, among others, the Boston Globe, the Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger and the Martha’s Vineyard Times. His work has also appeared in the LA Times, Men’s Health Magazine, Psychology Today, Huffington Post and many others. He was among the founding editors of New Age Journal, and helped launch EcoTraveler Magazine. In television, he wrote scripts for the Travel Channel and News Travel Network. A lifelong drummer, he was percussionist with the New Jersey All-State Orchestra and has played in rock, blues and jazz bands since high school, and even studied tabla briefly.
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