From Chellis Glendinning’s Resurgence magazine review of On Gandhi’s Path

[Robert] Swann was a nonviolent war resister. He was a civil rights activist, an agrarian decentralist, and a pioneer of intentional communities, local currencies, micro-lending, natural architecture and land trusts. And along with fellow just-economics thinker Susan Witt, he co-founded the US-based E.F. Schumacher Society in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.

On Gandhi’s Path provides the long view of this stellar life, penned by ecologist Stephanie Mills as fluidly as a breeze through one of her subject’s beloved New England woodlands.

Of particular interest in Mills’ quest to capture the vitality of the man who came from such a historical environment is the web of fellow newsmakers whose work interfaced with and enriched Swann’s own, and this piece of social-change-movement geography, beginning in the 1940s, is worth the price of the book.

African-American war resister Bayard Rustin. Consummate decentralists E.F. Schumacher and Leopold Kohr. Organic homesteaders Helen and Scott Nearing. Radical resister Dave Dellinger. Organiser Marj Shaffer. Social philosopher Arthur Morgan. Regionalist Ralph Borsodi. Civil rights activists Juanita and Wally Nelson. Catholic Worker co-founder Dorothy Day. Writer Barbara Deming. MANAS editor Henry Geiger. Folk singer Pete Seeger. They were all there, each adding his or her own ingenuity to the building of a viable movement for peace and justice.

On Gandhi’s Path captures Swann’s person in such a straightforward way that it inspires us – in these disillusioning times of surreal war-making, down-and-dirty poverty, total encasement by technology, and chaotic breakdown – with exactly what we need: to stay the path.

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