Natwar Gandhi began life in a dusty Indian village that had no paved streets, no electricity, no telephone and no running water. When he was 17, his father put him on a train to Mumbai in hopes that he might find work and send money home to help support the family. In Mumbai he barely made a living, but through countless long days of work, relentless determination and good luck he was able to take a plane to New York at the age of 25, where he landed with $7 in his pocket.
Still the Promised Land is the fascinating and deeply personal story of how an impoverished immigrant made his way to the new world, remade his life and ultimately became the chief financial officer of Washington, D.C., playing a key role in transforming the nation’s capital from a near-bankrupt municipality into a financially healthy major American city.
Gandhi’s life is both cautionary and instructive, difficult yet uplifting. Ultimately, it is a harrowing and inspiring account of how to survive seemingly hopeless circumstances and succeed in America. His journey has an uplifting message for present-day America, where immigrants are often reviled and immigration itself is denigrated. It reaffirms faith in the United States’ future as a great nation; indeed, it puts forth that the 21st century will be an American century that embraces all cultures—still the promised land.
Publication date: Independence Day, July 4th, 2019