M. K. Gandhi’s First Nonviolent Campaign: A Study of Racism in South Africa and in the United States By George Hendrick and Willene Hendrick


M. K. Gandhi came to fame in the twentieth century for his nonviolent efforts to free India from British rule. Gandhi, though, perfected his civil disobedience method during his two decades (1893-1914) in South Africa. M. K. Gandhi's First Nonviolent Campaign: A Study of Racism in South Africa and the United States shows Gandhi, son of a prime minister of two princely estates in India, a graduate in law from the Inner Temple in London, facing racism in South Africa. He was called a coolie, denied first-class railroad accommodations, physically attacked, and subjected to an attempted lynching. The racism he faced was similar to the racism in the United States at the same time.

Gandhi's development as a leader against racism in South Africa was a slow process, and his devotion to the cause created stress in his marriage and in his family life.

Gandhi's years in South Africa are still not very well understood. the authors employ the vast published resources of Gandhi scholarship and the equally large accounts of racism in the lives of Frederick Douglass, Rosa Parks, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and many others, opening up new ways to interpret Gandhi. They discuss Gandhi's successes and failures, his foibles, and his engaging human qualities. His developing belief in religious toleration is a recurring theme in this study.

This critical study explores the major influences on Gandhi's nonviolent method as well as his major contribution to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It highlights Gandhi's opposition to racism and show parallels to racism in the United States.

M. K. Gandhi's First Nonviolent Campaign will appeal to those who wish to read about Gandhi's life, to students studying racism in South Africa and the American South, and to readers studying African American literature and culture.