An inspiring education tool for those researching India and nonviolent independence movements.



Compelling minibiographies of a group of fighters for Indian independence who were born outside India but were fiercely devoted to the cause.

Guha, a Bangalore-based author of multiple books about Gandhi, among other works, compares these seven exemplary individuals to the International Brigade who fought against the Fascists during the Spanish Civil War as well as the “white South Africans who took a stand against apartheid” and fought for “a multiracial democracy.” In India, these figures “decisively changed sides, identifying completely with India, meeting Indians on absolutely equal terms as friends and lovers, and as comrades on the street and in prison.” Guha weaves into the story of independence the public and private battles of Englishwoman Annie Besant (1847-1943), who embraced theosophy and Indian home rule and, in 1917, was elected president of the Indian National Congress; and Gandhi colleague and journalist Samuel Stokes, a lapsed American missionary who wrote in 1919, “Christianity and Hinduism need each other. The best in each is incomplete without the other.” Mira Behn, “Gandhi’s adopted daughter,” learned traditional weaving and spinning at Gandhi’s side and advocated for the educational connection between that work and political freedom. B.G. Horniman, a British-born journalist who became a fearlessly outspoken editor at the Bombay Chronicle, was exiled from India for seven years before returning. In 1946, Sarala Devi (formerly Catherine Mary Heilemann) established a social service–oriented ashram for girls within an extremely conservative society. Dick Keithahn was a displaced American Christian who continued the practices of Gandhi after his death by helping establish a center for rural renewal through education, health care, and agricultural practices. Martin Luther King Jr. visited in 1959 and declared the fight for social justice in India “of inestimable value.” As Guha demonstrates, all of these individuals dedicated their lives to the causes for which Gandhi was so passionate.

An inspiring education tool for those researching India and nonviolent independence movements.

Pub Date: Feb. 22, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-101-87483-7

Page Count: 496

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Jan. 11, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2022

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...


Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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Buffs of the Old West will enjoy Clavin’s careful research and vivid writing.



Rootin’-tootin’ history of the dry-gulchers, horn-swogglers, and outright killers who populated the Wild West’s wildest city in the late 19th century.

The stories of Wyatt Earp and company, the shootout at the O.K. Corral, and Geronimo and the Apache Wars are all well known. Clavin, who has written books on Dodge City and Wild Bill Hickok, delivers a solid narrative that usefully links significant events—making allies of white enemies, for instance, in facing down the Apache threat, rustling from Mexico, and other ethnically charged circumstances. The author is a touch revisionist, in the modern fashion, in noting that the Earps and Clantons weren’t as bloodthirsty as popular culture has made them out to be. For example, Wyatt and Bat Masterson “took the ‘peace’ in peace officer literally and knew that the way to tame the notorious town was not to outkill the bad guys but to intimidate them, sometimes with the help of a gun barrel to the skull.” Indeed, while some of the Clantons and some of the Earps died violently, most—Wyatt, Bat, Doc Holliday—died of cancer and other ailments, if only a few of old age. Clavin complicates the story by reminding readers that the Earps weren’t really the law in Tombstone and sometimes fell on the other side of the line and that the ordinary citizens of Tombstone and other famed Western venues valued order and peace and weren’t particularly keen on gunfighters and their mischief. Still, updating the old notion that the Earp myth is the American Iliad, the author is at his best when he delineates those fraught spasms of violence. “It is never a good sign for law-abiding citizens,” he writes at one high point, “to see Johnny Ringo rush into town, both him and his horse all in a lather.” Indeed not, even if Ringo wound up killing himself and law-abiding Tombstone faded into obscurity when the silver played out.

Buffs of the Old West will enjoy Clavin’s careful research and vivid writing.

Pub Date: April 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-21458-4

Page Count: 400

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

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