I normally review books that have added to the way I think about peacebuilding and/or comparative politics.
Waking up to Gandhi is different. I only read it because I had a chance meeting with its author, Kristle Klein, at a workshop my friend David Smith hosts for community college teachers who offer courses in peace and conflict studies. We hit it off immediately perhaps because we are so different in two key ways. First, she is a filmmaker and teaches media studies. Second, unlike me, it was obvious that she is a risk taker.
Even so, I was surprised when she told me that she had written this book. Since it was available for free with my Kindle Unlimited subscription, I got it and read it as a break from the serious–and often depressing–fare I read most of the time.
Risk taker that she is, the book documents a three month trip to India she made a decade ago along with three of her friends. Her job was to shoot a documentary that focused on the one hundred paintings that one of her fellow travelers would paint, one for each day of the trip.
In fact, the book is one of self-discovery as Kristle and her friends come to grips with this fascinating country and themselves. If you take the delightful few hours it takes to read this book, you’ll also learn some things about daily life in India, which also means that I would recommend it to comparative politics students who are having a hard time coming to grips with what life is like there or in much of the Global South in general.
In short, Waking up to Gandhi is well worth your time, especially if you have a Kindle Unlimited subscription, which I use for precisely this kind of book on unusual topics by otherwise unknown authors.