New Memoir from Deepak and Sanjiv Chopra! Brotherhood: Dharma, Destiny, and the American DreamIn Brotherhood, Deepak and Sanjiv Chopra reveal the story of their personal struggles and triumphs as doctors, immigrants, and brothers. They were born in the ferment of liberated India after 1947, as an age-old culture reinvented its future. For the young, this meant looking to the West.
The Chopra brothers were among the most eager and ambitious of the new generation. In the 1970s, they each emigrated to America to make a new life. Both faced tough obstacles: while Deepak encountered resistance from Western-trained doctors over what he called the mind-body connection, Sanjiv struggled to reconcile the beliefs of his birthplace with those of his new home.
Eventually, each brother became convinced that America was the right place to build a life, and the Chopras went on to great achievements – Deepak as a global spiritual teacher and best-selling author, Sanjiv as a world-renowned medical expert and professor at Harvard Medical School.
Brotherhood will fascinate and inspire those who still believe in America’s capacity to foster achievement and reward hard work.
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Praise for Brotherhood
Editorial ReviewsPublishers Weekly
The Chopra brothers, two sons of a British-trained cardiologist in India, grew up to embrace both Eastern and Western medicine in America. They charmingly recount their experiences in alternate, temperamentally uneven takes in this memoir. Deepak is enormously well-known as the disseminator of the Indian holistic practice of Ayurveda in the West, through his score of books (Perfect Health et al.) and medical practice; his younger brother, Sanjiv, is less known but no less revered as a practicing liver specialist, teacher at Harvard Medical School, and also an author (Leadership by Example).
The two affectionately vie in telling their family stories, from growing up in the 1950s and ’60s in an educated Hindu family in India, moving (according to the dictates of their father’s career as an army doctor) from Pune, to Jabalpur, to Shillong to Delhi, attending the Irish Christian Brothers schools, forming their own cricket teams (Sanjiv was the better athlete, Deepak the scholar), and ultimately both resolving to study medicine – to the delight of their parents. Yet while each immigrated to New Jersey and then moved to Boston to study and pursue his specialty – with Sanjiv focusing on gastroenterology, Deepak on endocrinology – Deepak’s immersion in Transcendental Meditation led by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi steered him back to traditional Indian practices, ironically. The bifurcated memoir depicts some fascinating aspects of Indian assimilation in America, and the often hilarious, touching cultural clash.
Two brothers, both doctors, reflect on a remarkable journey from their childhood in newly independent India to their success and renown in Obama's America. Throughout this dual memoir, the Chopra brothers insist they are two very different people, and they offer some evidence to support this contention. Readers, however, will more likely be struck by their similarities, by the common chords sounded as each takes over in alternating chapters to tell what amounts to a love story: their love of family, of medicine, of their native India and their adopted America. They shared schooling, games and friends as the privileged children of a prominent physician in a land where Western medicine was still new. Both came to America to complete their medical education, and, though they encountered some casual prejudice, both were happily surprised by the egalitarian nature of their training. They tell some interesting, frequently amusing stories about their personal and professional assimilation, and they explain their decisions to stay in the U.S., even as they maintain deep ties to their Indian heritage.
Deepak (co-author: Super Brain: Unleashing the Explosive Power of Your Mind to Maximize Health, Happiness, and Spiritual Well-Being, 2012, etc.) revisits his controversial embrace of alternative medicine and his decision to strike out on his own as a "professional outsider." He describes this as "the fork in the road" separating the siblings, but no great differences emerge from his younger brother's telling. Indeed, fearful only that his brother will be misunderstood, Sanjiv appears to accept most of Deepak's insights about the mind–body connection. Certainly, as a dean at Harvard Medical School, Sanjiv (co-author: Leadership by Example: The Ten Key Principles of All Great Leaders, 2012, etc.) is more closely tied to the medical establishment, but he remains intrigued and fully supportive of his brother's path-breaking career. A charmingly conversational tale of devotion – to each other and to the science and art of medicine.