Gandhi’s Footprints by Predrag Cicovacki

"Gandhi's Footprints" by Predrag Cicovacki
“Gandhi’s Footprints” by Predrag Cicovacki

Gandhi should be followed, not venerated 


Mahatma K. Gandhi’s dedication to finding a path of liberation from an epidemic of violence has been well documented before. The central issue and the novelty of this book is its focus on what Gandhi wanted to liberate us for. The book also provides an assessment of how viable his positive vision of humanity is.

Gandhi revolutionized the struggle for Indian liberation from Great Britain by convincing his countrymen that they must turn to nonviolence and that India needed to be liberated from its social ills—poverty, unemployment, opium addiction, institution of child marriage, inequality of women, and Hindu-Muslim frictions—even more than it needed political freedom.

Although Gandhi’s legacy has not been forgotten, it has often been distorted. He is called “Mahatma” and venerated as a saint, but not followed and often misinterpreted. Predrag Cicovacki attempts to de-mythologize Gandhi and take a closer look at his thoughts, aims, and struggles. He invites us to look at the footprints Gandhi left for us, and follow them as carefully and critically as possible. Cicovacki concludes that Gandhi’s spiritual vision of humanity and the importance of adherence to truth (satyagraha)are his lasting legacy.

Predrag Cicovacki is a professor of philosophy at the College of the Holy Cross. His research interests include Kant, violence and nonviolence, and problems of good and evil. He was a Senior Fulbright-Nehru fellow in India (2012-2013) and is the author or editor of numerous essays and books, including Destined for Evil?, Albert Schweitzer’s Ethical Vision, and Kant’s Legacy.

Editorial Reviews

“When Gandhi said he discovered new aspects of the philosophy of nonviolence he was right. His philosophy of nonviolence is so deep that the more you explore it the more you learn. Predrag Cicovacki’s book, Gandhi’s Footprints, is one more serious and profound attempt to reach the depths of Gandhi’s vibrant way of life. In this troubled world one can only ignore at one’s own peril this book’s message that Gandhi’s philosophy of nonviolence should be followed without being imitated.”     

—Arun Gandhi, author of The Forgotten Woman: The Untold Story of Kastur, the Wife of Mahatma Gandhi, and grandson of Mahatma Gandhi

“One rarely finds great admiration for an inspirational figure combined with the ability to evaluate critically and objectively that person’s historical importance. Predrag Cicovacki achieves this in his study of Gandhi. Not only does he give a respectful and balanced assessment of Gandhi’s moral, political, and spiritual outlook, but he also explores Gandhi’s failures, including his inability to reach full understanding with important contemporaries. Whether one agrees with the whole of his analysis or not, Cicovacki challenges the reader to move beyond superficial adulation of the man to a rethinking of the deeper meaning of Gandhi’s legacy and its continuing relevance to today’s world.  It is a splendid book.”

—Robert Holmes, University of Rochester

“Arguing that Gandhi and his work in the world were primarily a spiritual undertaking, Cicovacki paints a picture of Gandhi and “civilization” as we know them today from a perspective that few people adopt. Yet Cicovacki is on the mark. His book is in part a critique of Gandhi’s approach to life; however, it is also a well-balanced, sympathetic, and scholarly explication of Gandhi’s life and work. The book is an important contribution to the understanding of Gandhi, and it has the potential to change the prevailing view of Gandhi.”

—Barry L. Gan, St. Bonaventure University

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