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Richard B. Gregg

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Richard B. Gregg

Richard Bartlett Gregg (1885–1974) was an American social philosopher said to be "the first American to develop a substantial theory of nonviolent resistance" and an influence on the thinking of Martin Luther King, Jr, [1] Aldous Huxley, [2] civil-rights theorist Bayard Rustin, [3] and pacifist and socialist reformer Jessie Wallace Hughan.[4] Gregg's ideas also influenced the Peace Pledge Union in 1930s Britain,[5] although by 1937 most of the PPU had moved away from Gregg's ideas.[6]

After graduating from Harvard, Gregg sailed to India on January 1, 1925 to learn about Indian culture and to seek out Gandhi.[7] His publications include Gandhiji's Satyagraha or non-violent resistance, published in 1930, and The Power of Non-Violence, from 1934. His revision, The Power of Non-Violence (1960) included a foreword by King. The book was republished in several other editions, including a Swedish translation in 1936 (as Den nya maktfaktorn: motstånd utan våld). Gregg's 1939 pamphlet Pacifist Program in time of war: threatened war, or fascism was a program detailing how American pacifists could use non-violence to oppose war and fascism in the United States.[8] In the 1940s Gregg became interested in ecology and organic farming, and spent several years living on a farm owned by Scott and Helen Nearing. [9] Gregg was also author of other books, including The Compass of Civilization, and the essay The Value of Voluntary Simplicity (Wallingford, PA: Pendle Hill, 1936), a philosophical essay on the need and benefits of living more simply. He coined the term "voluntary simplicity".

References

External links

  • Biography of Richard B. Gregg
  • Bibliography of Richard B. Gregg
  • The Value of Voluntary Simplicity
  • with King's introduction
  • Memorial Commentary on Richard B. Gregg (pdf)
  • Richard Gregg materials in the South Asian American Digital Archive (SAADA)

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