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Book Reviews57 chant, Cuffe became active in the international abolitionist network of William Allen and Thomas Clarkson of Great Britain, and James Forten, James Pemberton, and Peter Williams, Jr., of the United States. Rosalind Cobb Wiggins has performed a valuable service in compiling and transcribing Cuffe's papers forpublication. She was correct in retaining his idiosyncratic spelling, for thus we are reminded that this extraordinary individual—who could navigate politics on three continents as well as storm-tossed seas—was entirely self-taught. Wiggins is less successful in her introductory essays and endnotes, which are not well organized and include numerous errors. She states several times, for example, that Quakers had no ministers, when she means paid ministers, of course. At other points she suggests that Native Americans could not be slaves, and that Benjamin Franklin was a founder of the Pennsylvania Abolition Society. Unfortunately, such mistakes reveal Wiggins' limited research about the Society of Friends, slavery, and the abolitionist movement in which Cuffe played such an important role. Jean R. SoderlundLehigh University An Indian Tapestry: Quaker Threads in the History ofIndia, Pakistan,andBanghdeshfrom the Seventeenth CenturytoIndependence. By Marjorie Sykes. Ed. and completed by Geoffrey Carnali. York: Sessions, 1997. ? + 327 pp. Maps, illustrations, notes, and index. Paper, £10. Few could be as qualified as Marjorie Sykes to write the history of Friends in India. During her sixty years in India she was a school teacher, a peace educator, a friend, co-worker, and translator of Rabindranath Tagore, and a teacher in Gandhi's ashram Sevagram. Marjorie Sykes worked among Friends in Madras in the south, in Bengal, and in central India, and was fluent in Tamil, Bengali, and Hindi. The last of her many written works, this history draws on a variety of sources printed (in India, England, and elsewhere) and unprinted (private letters and manuscripts), on oral history, and on her own memory as an active participant in Quaker history in India for much of this century. It was her hope to carry the story into the late 1980s, but her death at age 90 prevented completion of that hope. The final chapter was written, based on her notes, by Geoffrey Carnali, who had known Marjorie Sykes from the time ofhis work with the Friends Service Unit in India from 1948-50. The book skillfully interweaves three stories: Friends in India, wider happenings in India itself, and changing situations of Friends in Britain and the U.S. who sent workers to India. She tells of Quaker merchants and 58Quaker History engineers in the early days, of rising Quaker concern over the social injustices in this British colony, ofthe rise ofFriends missions, and the turn toward service after the Manchester and Darlington conferences of the 1890s and through the twentieth century. Marjorie Sykes was a committed Gandhian, and she did not abandon that commitment in the writing of this book. It is clear that her sympathies lay more with those heroic missionaries, educators, and others who come in service and to live the life of Indians, willing to learn from them, such as Rachel Metcalfe, Hilda Cashmore, Geoffrey Maw, Horace Alexander and AgathaHarrison (the last two being themselves close associates ofGandhi). One also comes to know and admire Indian Friends such as Poornachandra Sarkar, Khushilal, G. L. Narasimhan, and Ranjit Chetsingh. True again to her Gandhian principles, Marjorie Sykes is honest, fair, and even generous in herportraitofothers with whom she would in part disagree. These include missionaries who were quite willing to use medicine as the bait for conversions, and evangelists who demanded a very exclusive Christianity and required a total break with converts' pasts—in effect creating a small, separate, and socially very vulnerable caste ofIndian Friends, who were not even accepted by otherevangelical Christians in India because oftheir stand on outward sacraments. The book is free of polemic, but it is also unafraid to tell the story of tensions, theological differences, personal ambitions and arrogance. In her unraveling of the complexity of this history, Marjorie Sykes is delightfully detective-like in her quest for detail and the insightful conclusions she draws from them. Her modesty is reflected in the final chapters, in which she draws almost too little...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1934-1504
Print ISSN
0033-5053
Pages
pp. 57-58
Launched on MUSE
2012-04-04
Open Access
No
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