Gandhi and King: The Power of Nonviolent Resistance

Gandhi and King: The Power of Nonviolent Resistance

Gandhi and King: The Power of Nonviolent Resistance

Gandhi and King: The Power of Nonviolent Resistance

Synopsis

"The lives and works of Mohandis Karamchand Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. have much to teach us about nonviolent resistance to oppression. This book presents a comparative analysis of their legacies that demonstrates how powerful peace and love can be, even in the face of hate-filled oppression, aggression, and violence. No two individuals had a greater impact on the 20th century's monumental struggles for freedom, justice, and peace. Gandhi showed the world that steadfastly and nonviolently adhering to the truth gave the world a practical alternative to the madness of war and violence. King used nonviolence to realize his dream of a beloved community and to beckon his white countrymen to live up to the lofty ideals bequeathed to them by America's founders. The two men came from widely divergent cultural, religious, economic, and political backgrounds and settings, yet they both wielded nonviolent weapons effectively. This comparison not only demonstrates the broad applicability of nonviolent principles, but also highlights the importance of merging high ideals with a practical program that produces positive results in people's lives." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

When the history of the 20th century is written, it shall record that Mohandas Koramchand Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. were at the forefront of that century's most important struggles: the struggle for freedom, the fight for equality, and the battle against violence. Accordingly, this book seeks to make a modest contribution in that regard by examining the nonviolent struggles of both men as they fought for freedom and equality.

Part I will examine the theoretical and conceptual tenets of nonviolence. No discussion of Gandhi and King would be complete without a thorough investigation of the means they so stridently and uncompromisingly advocated. This book is comparative in nature. As such, Chapter 1 illustrates the meaning of nonviolence by comparing it to violence. Not only is this an exercise in establishing what nonviolence is not—it is not intentionally inflicted physical or psychological harm—but this chapter also seeks to demonstrate affirmatively what nonviolence is. For, despite its name, nonviolence is more than a "non" -something. Its meaning, at least insofar as Gandhi and King took it, underscores a positive affirmation of life and spirituality that binds every human. It is the glue holding King's "beloved community" together and the "truth force" through which Gandhi stood nose to nose with the British Empire in South Africa and India.

Chapter 2 compares the two major types of nonviolence, namely philosophical and strategic. Some people believe in and practice nonviolence as a way of life. The Jain religion, for instance . . .

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