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Educating activists: development and gender in the making of modern Gandhians

What do people make of their own development? In Educating Activists, Rebecca M. Klenk illuminates a reality that is far more complex than either development planners or critics commonly assume. This gracefully written, accessible ethnography shows how rural women accept, refuse, reinterpret, and negotiate development’s terms in a quest to improve their own communities. Klenk offers an account of Lakshmi Ashram, a remarkable Gandhian educational initiative for women and girls in Himalayan India. Drawing on extensive fieldwork, Educating Activists blends memories and stories with historical research and richly detailed ethnographic analysis to craft a compelling portrait of how women across two generations have engaged with issues of sustainability, poverty, gender equity, autonomy, and progress.