See No Stranger: A Memoir and Manifesto of Revolutionary Love

One World. Jun. 2020. 416p. ISBN 9780525509097. $28. SOC SCI
Kaur’s debut is part memoir, part cultural commentary arguing that one way to combat hatred and ignorance is to take the Sikh approach of empathy and forgiveness toward those who harm or fear others. A Sikh activist, filmmaker, and political commentator, Kaur was born and raised in a large and loving Sikh family, one of few in an insulated California farming community. She became an activist partly because of her Sikh beliefs which involve equality, empathy, and love in response to escalating violence toward Sikhs in the United States following the September 11 attacks. The book is strongest when the author focuses on her personal experiences, her family life, and her activism during and after her time in law and divinity school. However, there are stretches where her rhetoric of “revolutionary love” slows down the narrative and becomes derivative. This flaw does not take away the central purpose of the book, which is the act of loving others—even ones that do grievous harm—is revolutionary in a time of confusion, heartache, and racial violence.
VERDICT A beautifully written exposé of activism, rebirth and “revolutionary love” that is much needed for all readers in our current times.
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