American in Gandhi's India: The Biography of Satyanand Stokes

American in Gandhi's India: The Biography of Satyanand Stokes

by Asha Sharma
     
 

Samuel Evans Stokes, Jr., son of a prominent Philadelphia family of Quaker heritage, was just 21 years old when he arrived in India in 1904 to work in a home for lepers. He soon became disillusioned with the foreign missionary community and began a new spiritual quest, adopting Indian dress, forgoing the privileges of a Westerner in colonial India, and founding a…  See more details below

Overview

Samuel Evans Stokes, Jr., son of a prominent Philadelphia family of Quaker heritage, was just 21 years old when he arrived in India in 1904 to work in a home for lepers. He soon became disillusioned with the foreign missionary community and began a new spiritual quest, adopting Indian dress, forgoing the privileges of a Westerner in colonial India, and founding a mendicant religious brotherhood. Later he married a Rajput Christian girl, converted to Hinduism, and adopted a new name. Stokes became a leader in Gandhi's independence movement in the 1920s, and was the only American jailed by the British for this cause. He is most often remembered in India, however, as the man who introduced American Delicious apples to the Himalayas. An American in Gandhi's India draws on oral history and interviews as well as Stokes's books, journals, and letters. Asha Sharma's fascinating account offers a rare glimpse into a century of interaction between India and the United States.

About the Author:
Asha Sharma is a granddaughter of Satyanand Stokes. A graduate of the Columbia University School of Journalism

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Editorial Reviews

Time Asia
"Sharma has written a lively and philosophical book, reflecting closely Stokes's mixed personality and steely commitment." —Michael Fathers, Time Asia

— Michael Fathers

India Today
"This is... the story of the commitment to India that prompted Gandhi to describe Stokes as a foreigner who had made India his home, 'in a manner in which perhaps no other American or Englishman has.'" —Mark Tully, India Today

— Mark Tully

Hindustan Times
"Of the men and women from foreign climes who came to India to preach and stayed to learn, the name of Samuel Stokes is an outstanding one." —Chanchal Sarkar, Hindustan Times

— Chanchal Sarkar

Asian Age
"The fascinating story of Samuel Evans Stokes is a meticulously documented and well-written book." —H. V. Sharada Prasad, Asian Age

— H. V. Sharada Prasad

Philadelphia Inquirer
"Asha Sharma, the author of this lovingly detailed and enormously moving biography, is a granddaughter of Stokes.... Sharma makes Stokes' story alluring in both its early Philadelphia moments and its long unfolding in India." —Carlin Romano, Philadelphia Inquirer, February 8, 2009

— Carlin Romano

Pacific Affairs
"This is a significant and important book about late colonial and nationalist India.... Asha Sharma writes sensitively and insightfully about Stokes's sometimes turbulent family life, his role as a local leader in the Simla Hills... and in the broader terrain of Punjab politics and Gandhi's colleague and interlocutor." —Pacific Affairs, Vol. 83, No. 1
Quaker History
"This compelling account of the life of American missionary to India... reads like a novel while offering a meticulously researched portrayal of the social and political environment of India in the decades prior to independence." —Lyn Miller, Quaker History

— Lyn Miller

Time Asia - Michael Fathers

"Sharma has written a lively and philosophical book, reflecting closely Stokes's mixed personality and steely commitment." —Michael Fathers, Time Asia

India Today - Mark Tully

"This is... the story of the commitment to India that prompted Gandhi to describe Stokes as a foreigner who had made India his home, 'in a manner in which perhaps no other American or Englishman has.'" —Mark Tully, India Today

Hindustan Times - Chanchal Sarkar

"Of the men and women from foreign climes who came to India to preach and stayed to learn, the name of Samuel Stokes is an outstanding one." —Chanchal Sarkar, Hindustan Times

Asian Age - H. V. Sharada Prasad

"The fascinating story of Samuel Evans Stokes is a meticulously documented and well-written book." —H. V. Sharada Prasad, Asian Age

Rajmohan Gandhi

"All interested in the America-India relationship, including the growing ranks of Indian-Americans, will profit from this fascinating account of an 'American Indian,' a Pennsylvania Quaker who made the hills of northern India his home, and who played a memorable role in India's freedom movement." —Rajmohan Gandhi, author of Gandhi: The Man, His People, and the Empire

Philadelphia Inquirer - Carlin Romano

"Asha Sharma, the author of this lovingly detailed and enormously moving biography, is a granddaughter of Stokes.... Sharma makes Stokes' story alluring in both its early Philadelphia moments and its long unfolding in India." —Carlin Romano, Philadelphia Inquirer

Pacific Affairs - Lloyd Rudolph

"This is a significant and important book about late colonial and nationalist India.... Asha Sharma writes sensitively and insightfully about Stokes's sometimes turbulent family life, his role as a local leader in the Simla Hills... and in the broader terrain of Punjab politics and Gandhi's colleague and interlocutor." —Lloyd Rudolph, Pacific Affairs, Vol. 83, No. 1

Quaker History - Lyn Miller

"This compelling account of the life of American missionary to India... reads like a novel while offering a meticulously researched portrayal of the social and political environment of India in the decades prior to independence." —Lyn Miller, Quaker History

From the Publisher
"Of the men and women from foreign climes who came to India to preach and stayed to learn, the name of Samuel Stokes is an outstanding one." —Chanchal Sarkar, Hindustan Times

"Sharma has written a lively and philosophical book, reflecting closely Stokes's mixed personality and steely commitment." —Michael Fathers, Time Asia

"This is a significant and important book about late colonial and nationalist India.... Asha Sharma writes sensitively and insightfully about Stokes's sometimes turbulent family life, his role as a local leader in the Simla Hills... and in the broader terrain of Punjab politics and Gandhi's colleague and interlocutor." —Lloyd Rudolph, Pacific Affairs, Vol. 83, No. 1

"The fascinating story of Samuel Evans Stokes is a meticulously documented and well-written book." —H. V. Sharada Prasad, Asian Age

"All interested in the America-India relationship, including the growing ranks of Indian-Americans, will profit from this fascinating account of an 'American Indian,' a Pennsylvania Quaker who made the hills of northern India his home, and who played a memorable role in India's freedom movement." —Rajmohan Gandhi, author of Gandhi: The Man, His People, and the Empire

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780253219909
Publisher:
Indiana University Press
Publication date:
06/28/2008
Pages:
392
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

Asha Sharma is a granddaughter of Satyanand Stokes. A graduate of the Columbia University School of Journalism, she has been a fellow of the Indian Council of Historical Research and a Research Associate at the University of California at Berkeley.

Indiana University Press

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