This is a superb example of a living philosophy traced to its ancestors and clarified with many examples from current events. It establishes the kinship of thought and action that exists between Thoreau's essay on ""Civil Disobedience"", Gandhi's satyagraha (the force of love and truth) and the non-violent resistance being practised with dignity and success by the American Negro. Both Gandhi and Martin Luther King have acknowledged a debt of inspiration to Thoreau's short rebellion against the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the short essay that came out of it. King has expressed his debt to both Thoreau and Gandhi. Each man in his urn is examined -- background, shaping influences, motives -- their sainthood is never established or assumed for their unattractive qualities and mistakes are here as well as their dedication. The steps that led to full scale passive resistance are covered with a pace and tone that never lets the reader down. (In the case of ing, his spotlight is shared with other leaders of the current movement and incidents he did not directly lead are covered, too.) There is a short but solid list of further readings and an excellent index.