Is it possible to live a moral life in these immoral times?
My Year-Long Attempt to Follow the Mahatma’s Moral Principles in These Immoral Times
by Perry Garfinkel
On submission (rights sold to Heyne in Germany)
Agent: David Black Agency
« If Perry Garfinkel is going to try to ‘be’ Gandhi, you can bet it will be insightful, soul-searching and a great and entertaining read. If it’s anything like his book Buddha or Bust, I can’t wait to read the finished manuscript. » – Daniel Goleman, Ph.D., author of the international bestselling « Emotional Intelligence »
“Personally speaking, Matahma Gandhi has been a great inspiration to me. So I am especially interested to follow the American journalist and author Perry Garfinkel in this very interesting and original approach to understanding what it means to literally ‘be the change’ – especially in these complex times. I’ve now known Perry for close to 10 years and admire his writings and his unique and compassionate view of the world. His journey will inevitably change him, as I am sure it will change anyone who reads this book. I for one can’t wait to read about his experiments with Truth.” – Nandita Das, Indian actress and director of the forthcoming film « Manto »
Garfinkel will conduct an “experiment with truth” and follow Gandhi’s six main principles, literally, over the course of a year—and live them on a daily basis: truth, non-violence, vegetarianism, simplicity, faith and celibacy. He will turn to Gandhi and the body of writing he left behind, “a virtual how-to instructional on living a virtuous life, one man’s guide to moral integrity followed by many people around the world—but not enough.” With Gandhi as our guide, Garfinkel will examine his own beliefs and intentions, and work on cleaning up habits in practice and in thought. The hope is to become a better version of oneself.
Garfinkel will travel to locations of importance to the Mahatma and places that changed him. From Porbandar, where Gandhi was born in 1869 and where his philosophy took root; to Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, where Gandhi was thrown off a train, motivating him to enact his first protests and give rise to the birth of nonviolent resistance; to London, where Gandhi became intensely involved with the London Vegetarian Society. Garfinkel will learn to use the spinning wheel and how to wear a dhoti as Gandhi did, to express the simplicity of his life, “reducing himself to zero.” He will meet and interview people Gandhi inspired and assess the success of the Gandhi movement. Culminating in walking Gandhi’s 240-mile Salt March, the Dandi March, which added momentum for the push to achieve India’s sovereignty, Garfinkel will examine the historical and metaphorical meaning of the march for independence. Ultimately, while looking at Gandhi’s example as a model of hope, BEING GANDHI will seek to inspire and influence others to look within to change.
Perry Garfinkel is the author of the bestselling BUDDHA OR BUST: In Search of Truth, Meaning, Happiness and the Man Who Found Them All (Crown/Harmony, 2006). Garfinkel has been a regular contributor to the New York Times since 1986 and is a monthly contributor to the Sunday Business column “Vocations.” He has written for numerous publications including the Boston Globe, National Geographic, Wall Street Journal Asia, the LA Times, Time Magazine Asia, and the Huffington Post. He is a regular guest on WCBS am NY radio show “Health and Well Being Report” and has appeared on CNN, CBS This Morning, among others.