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Publisher's Summary

A fascinating biography of Freda Bedi, an English woman who broke all the rules of gender, race, and religious background to become both a revolutionary in the fight for Indian independence and then a Buddhist icon.

She was the first Western woman to become a Tibetan Buddhist nun - but that pioneering ordination was really just one in a life full of revolutionary acts. Freda Bedi (1911-1977) broke the rules of gender, race, and religion - in many cases before it was thought that the rules were ready to be challenged. She was at various times a force in the struggle for Indian independence, a spiritual seeker, a scholar, a professor, a journalist, an author, a social worker, a wife, and mother of four children. She counted among her friends, colleagues, and teachers Mohandas Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, and many others. She was a woman of spiritual focus and compassion who was also not without contradictions. Vicki Mackenzie gives a nuanced view of Bedi and of the forces that shaped and motivated this complex and compelling figure.

Cover image courtesy of Bedi Family Archives

©2017 Vicki Mackenzie (P)2017 Audible, Inc.

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What listeners say about The Revolutionary Life of Freda Bedi

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An outstanding read! My horizons were expanded.

I loved the different perspectives from family, friends and author on Freda's embracement of Buddhism.

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  • Anna
  • 03-01-22

Fabulous story irritatingly read

The story of Freda's life is fascinating and I'm so glad there is such a well written book about it. However, the decision for the reader to use accents and different voices for people totally ruined the recording for me, I found it so frustrating that it took forever to finish listening as I could only stomach it for short periods. The Indian accents also seemed culturally insensitive. Besides the accents it was well read but dragged right down because of them,

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  • Tramaine
  • 06-16-20

Incredible biography!

This was a gem of a find. I’m really surprised it hasn’t had much attention on here. It has everything, including some moments where I couldn’t believe what I was reading. You couldn’t make this up - its a real ride! I’m so happy to have read Freda’s story. The author has done a fantastic job and I’m glad she addresses the difficulties facing women who choose a way of life anathema to collective attitudes. You don’t have to be into spirituality/feminism/India in fact,to enjoy this book. This story would make a great movie especially since Freda was way ahead of her time and a total heroine. i hope there are teachers/educators out there that will bring Freda’s amazing story into schools. The only tiny criticism I have was the narrators sometimes comedic/cringey accents but I still think she did a great job considering the challenge! Brilliant all round.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-21-18

Extremely interesting

I enjoyed it very much, found it extremely interesting, what a woman, what a life.
The sheer quest and determination is remarkable.
I am happy that her work has been recorded. I wished I could of met her. Beautiful book...

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  • Mr. G. D. Allen
  • 05-11-18

Great

A great story and truly inspiration. A story that should be well known and have been written years before