In Gandhi's American Ally, Norm Williams tells the extraordinary story of his parents' persistent missionary work in India during the time of the great leader Mahatma Gandhi.
Fresh from the wheat fields of Kansas, Fred and Irene Williams were enthusiastic young missionaries who arrived in India during the 1920s to help instruct young Bengalis. Wasting no time in this strange land, the Williamses soon built a new educational paradigm called "Ushagram" north of Calcutta, raised a family, and became intimate friends with Mahatma Gandhi. Because his innovative thinking, Fred Williams introduced a modern septic system to thousands of Indian villagers. As a result, many of those stigmatized as "untouchables" were able to escape their ancient bondage.
Relying on detailed research using personal letters, articles, and interviews, the author tells the fascinating story of two forward-thinking young Americans whose progressive vision for healthier Indian villages attracted Gandhi and impacted the very nature of a huge country's rural culture. Gandhi's American Ally provides a rare chance to become intimately familiar with one family's missionary endeavors and appreciate historical changes faced by two idealistic people dealing with poverty, political turmoil, and hopelessness.