email page print pageAll Topic Reviews
"Intimate" Violence against Women3 NBS of Julian DrewA Little PregnantA Natural History of RapeA Parent's Guide to Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning AutismA Stir of BonesAbout a BoyAdult Children of Emotionally Immature ParentsAgainst MarriageAgainst MarriageAlmost a PsychopathAlone TogetherAnatomy of LoveAngelsAnother CountryAnxious ParentsApples and OrangesBe Honest--You're Not That Into Him EitherBeing the Other OneBetrayed as BoysBeyond AddictionBipolar DisorderBoys Will Put You on a Pedestal (So They Can Look Up Your Skirt)Breaking ApartBrief Adolescent Therapy Homework PlannerBringing Up ParentsBut I Love HimCaring for a Child with AutismCaring in Remembered WaysCherishmentChildren of the Aging Self-AbsorbedChildren of the Self-AbsorbedChildren, Families, and Health Care Decision MakingClawsCloserCold HitCoping With Difficult PeopleCouple SkillsCruddyDancing in My NuddypantsDivorce PoisonDoing ItDone With The CryingEcstasyEmotional ClaustrophobiaEmotional Fitness for IntimacyEmotional Intelligence at WorkEntwined LivesErotic PassionsEssentials of Premarital CounselingEvery Pot Has a CoverFacts About ADHD ChildrenFamilies Like MineFamilyFamily BoundFamily FirstFear of IntimacyFinal JeopardyFind MeFlashpointFor Lesbian ParentsForgive Your Parents, Heal YourselfGandhi's WayGeorgia Under WaterGetting over Getting MadGetting the Love You WantGetting the Love You Want Audio CompanionGirl in the MirrorGirl StuffGoing Home without Going CrazyHandbook of AttachmentHandbook of Counseling and Psychotherapy with Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual ClientsHappiness Sold SeparatelyHard to GetHe's Just Not That Into YouHealing ConversationsHollow KidsHot ButtonsHot Chocolate for the Mystical LoverHow Families Still MatterHow to Create Chemistry with AnyoneHow to Give Her Absolute PleasureHow to Handle a Hard-To-Handle KidHow to Keep Your Teenager Out of Trouble and What to Do If You Can'tI am Not Sick I Don't Need Help!I Don't Know How She Does ItI Hate You-Don't Leave MeI Only Say This Because I Love YouI'm OK, You're My ParentsIn the Mood, AgainInside the American CoupleIntrusive ParentingIt's Called a Breakup Because It's BrokenIt's Love We Don't UnderstandJakarta MissingKeeping Passion AliveKeeping Your Child in MindLet's Get This StraightLiberation's ChildrenLife's WorkLikely to DieLove JunkieLove SickLove Times ThreeLove Works Like ThisLoving Someone With Bipolar DisorderLoving Someone with Borderline Personality DisorderLust in TranslationMaking the RunMaking the RunManic DepressionMars and Venus - Starting Over.Mating in CaptivityMom, Dad, I'm Gay.MotherstylesMurder in the InnMysterious CreaturesNecessary NoiseOdd Girl OutOpenOpening to Love 365 Days a YearOphelia's MomOrgasmsOur Journey Through High Functioning Autism and Asperger SyndromeOut of the DustOvercoming Your Difficult FamilyParenting and the Child's WorldParenting on the GoParenting Your Out-Of-Control TeenagerParents and Digital TechnologyParents Do Make a DifferencePassionate MarriagePlanet JanetPreventing Misbehavior in ChildrenProblem Child or Quirky Kid?Raising AmericaRaising ElijahRaising Kids in an Age of TerrorRaising Kids in the 21st CenturyRaising Resilient ChildrenRay's a LaughRelationship RescueRelax, It's Just SexRespect-Me RulesRomantic IntelligenceRoom For JSecrets of a Passionate MarriageSelf-NurtureSelfish, Shallow, and Self-AbsorbedSex Addiction: The Partner's PerspectiveShidduch CrisisSickenedSingleSlut!Socrates in LoveSomeone Like YouSong for EloiseSpecial SiblingsSpiritually Healing the Indigo Children (and Adult Indigos, Too!)Staying Connected to Your TeenagerStaying Sane When Your Family Comes to VisitStop Arguing with Your KidsStop SignsStop Walking on EggshellsStop Walking on EggshellsStrong, Smart, & BoldSummer of the SkunksSurviving a Borderline ParentTaking Charge of AngerTelling SecretsThank You for Being Such a PainThe Anti-Romantic ChildThe AwakeningThe Bastard on the Couch CDThe Birth of PleasureThe Brief Couples Therapy Homework Planner with DiskThe Bully Action GuideThe Burden of SympathyThe Commercialization of Intimate LifeThe CorrectionsThe Couples Psychotherapy Treatment PlannerThe DisappearanceThe Dream BearerThe Educated ParentThe Emotional RevolutionThe Employee Assistance Treatment PlannerThe EpidemicThe Ethics of ParenthoodThe Ethics of the FamilyThe Gay Baby BoomThe Good DivorceThe Guide for International Intercultural Couples and Families Intercultural MarriageThe Healing Journey for CouplesThe Hostile HospitalThe Husbands and Wives ClubThe Inside Story on Teen GirlsThe Introvert AdvantageThe Little FriendThe Love HexagonThe Moral Intelligence of ChildrenThe Neuroscience of Human RelationshipsThe New I DoThe Normal OneThe Nurture AssumptionThe OASIS Guide to Asperger SyndromeThe Other ParentThe Philosophical ParentThe Psychology of Parental ControlThe Real Rules for GirlsThe Reflective ParentThe Right to Be ParentsThe Secret Lives of WivesThe Spider and the BeeThe State of AffairsThe StepsThe Story of My FatherThe Velveteen FatherThe Virgin BlueThe Visitation HandbookThe Whole ChildTo Have and To Hurt:Two Is EnoughUnderstanding MarriageUnderstanding the Borderline MotherUnhitchedUntrue Up in FlamesWe've Got IssuesWhat about the KidsWhat Goes UpWhat Is Secular Humanism?What It Means to Love YouWhat Our Children Teach UsWhen a Parent is DepressedWhen Mars Women DateWhen Someone You Love Is BipolarWhen Someone You Love Is DepressedWhy Are You So Sad?Will You, Won't You?WomanWorking With Emotional IntelligenceWorried All the TimeYes, Your Teen Is Crazy!
What is a good fight? A
successful resolution? Is there a non-aggressive alternative with the
persuasive power of violence? These are just a few of the questions
Juergensmeyer’s book addresses.
“Gandhi’s Way – A Handbook of
Conflict Resolution” is a primer for readers unfamiliar with Gandhian
principles and moral action. It was Gandhi’s belief that fighting could
illuminate truth, which is the essential component of non-violent conflict
resolution. Juergensmeyer writes, “a good Gandhian fight, then, calls into
question the truthfulness of every position, no matter how vaulted.” Understand
that Gandhi didn’t want people to fight every fight, but rather he didn’t want
them to flee any fight due to fear.
The text is broken into three
sections:  the Principles of Gandhian Fighting,  case studies, and 
brief essay dialogues. From the beginning Juergensmeyer makes clear that the
basic premise of Gandhi’s approach was to focus on principles and the
transformation of structures, not people. Gandhi believed that conflicts
re-emerged because they were resolved only superficially – in essence, missing
the point, which is all individual parties possess some degree of truth. Gandhi
sought to restructure life-negating organizations through the pursuit of truth;
he sought to transform relationships not seize power.
The author outlines the three
steps in Gandhian fighting:
Examine the principles on both sides of the argument to
reach agreement on which will rightly be a part of the solution
Create a Gandhian alternative, which requires defining
a solution that will enhance both points of view
Begin doing that alternative whether or not the other
side participates in the alternative
Juergensmeyer explains compromise
isn’t necessarily a positive resolution. He also discusses the essential
difference between coercion and non-cooperation. He later discusses double
advocacy, which is an effort to reach truth through decreased
self-righteousness; and non-violence, which is defined as “not just harmlessness
but a positive state.” In short, Gandhi maintained that violence of any kind
negates life. This idea resonated, leaving me wondering how often are we
According to Juergensmeyer, the
basic rules of engagement are:
 Do not avoid confrontation
 Stay open to communication and self-criticism
 Find a resolution and hold fast to it
 Regard your opponent as a potential ally
 Make your tactics consistent with the goal
 Be flexible
 Be temperate
 Be proportionate
 Be disciplined
 Know when to quit
Section II offers in-depth case
studies on: a domestic squabble, a labor-management dispute, a personal
decision, a social crusade, and a situation of massive political oppression.
It’s important to note that some
conflicts are more easily fought according to Gandhian principles.
Juergensmeyer points out that “Gandhian fighters sometimes take on larger
issues and greater opponents than they are able to combat; this is one of their
most frequent failings.” The author validates both critics and supporters of
Gandhi. He concludes that there is an essential element of Gandhian fighting
worth adopting even if the greatest change made is our own lives.
Section III was, by far, the most
stimulating. In this final section Juergensmeyer creates dialogues between
Gandhi and Marx, Freud, Neibuhr, and himself. The dialogues are lively, witty
and engaging – easily the strongest writing in the text. For the most part,
Juergensmeyer seems to have a deep understanding and appreciation for Gandhi’s
way. That is precisely what makes his suggestion that there may be times for
violence such an awkward contradiction, especially in a primer text.
The author noted “those who
consciously try to follow Gandhi’s ideals may fare no better than those for
whom the nonviolent path comes quite naturally.” This also sums up the text
itself – it is unclear whether you will fare better for the reading.
© 2003 J. E. Morris
J. E. Morris
currently works as a program coordinator and primary counselor at Chrysalis
House, Inc., a long-term residential treatment program for women recovering
from substance abuse, in Lexington, KY.