Voluntary simplicity involves inner and outer conditions, such as intentional organization of life for a purpose, and a degree of simplification.
About the Author(s)
Born in 1891, Richard B. Gregg was a Harvard trained lawyer who practiced law for three years before moving on to work with trade unions. He gathered statistics and assisted with arbitration and publicity for the railroad workers’ union following the First World War. Laid off in the beginning of the nineteen-twenties he stumbled across an article on the work of Mohandas Gandhi. This chance encounter inspired a four-year journey through India where he studied the culture of nonviolence. In this period he wrote The Economics of Khaddar, a book that tried to explain economics in terms an average Indian citizen would understand.
On his return from India, he wrote The Power of Nonviolence (1934), a book that Martin Luther King listed as one of the five most influential books he had read. His work described nonviolence as a method for changing the character of the world. In 1935-36, he served as the acting director of Pendle Hill, moving from there to live in Putney, Vermont in an intentional community. The Power of Nonviolence became a foundational text for the political activists who coalesced into the New Left during the fifties and sixties. Gregg worried that these activists were losing sight of the larger potential for social change in his texts.
Pendle Hill Pamphlet #3