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

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Samuel Evans Stokes, Jr., a son of a prominent Philadelphia family, was a 21-year-old Quaker missionary 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 in life 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. Sharma's fascinating account offers a rare glimpse into a century of interaction between India and the United States. Read more Show Less

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Overview

Samuel Evans Stokes, Jr., a son of a prominent Philadelphia family, was a
21-year-old Quaker missionary 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 in life 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. Sharma's fascinating account offers a rare glimpse into a century of interaction between
India and the United States.

Indiana University Press

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"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
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

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780253351586
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/2008
  • Pages: 392
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.10 (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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Table of Contents

Contents
Foreword by His Holiness the Dalai
Lama
Preface
Note on This Edition

Prologue
1. A Journey of No Return
2. The Quest Begins
3. The Ascetic
4. Visit Home
5.
The Brotherhood in India
6. Alternate Path
7. An Inner Struggle
8. Home at Last—A Family Man
9. War on Two Fronts
10. For the Rights of
Men—Begar
11. Joining the Freedom Struggle
12. The Fight
Continues
13. In Khadi
14. Following the National Trail
15. Arrest and
Trial
16. Guest of the British Empire
17. Debates with Gandhi: Test of
Friendship
18. Johnny Appleseed of the Himalayas
19. A School in My
Garden
20. Came to Teach and Stayed to Learn
21. Satyakamvadi
22. The
Burdens Increase
23. Marketing the Fruits of Labor
24. World War II and
After
25. The Vedantist
26.
Eventide
Epilogue

Acknowledgments
Appendix 1. Stokes' Written
Statement
Appendix 2. Verses Written in Jail
Appendix 3. Folk Song Composed on the Occasion of Stokes' Marriage

Glossary
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Indiana University Press

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