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Publisher's Summary

When a powerful mystic steps on the hand of a radical young hippie doctor from Detroit, it changes lives and the world. Sometimes Brilliant is the adventures of a philosopher, mystic, hippie, doctor, groundbreaking tech innovator, and key player in the eradication of one of the worst pandemics in human history. His story, of what happens when love, compassion and determination meet the right circumstances to effect positive change, is the kind that keeps hope and the sense of possibility alive.

After sitting at the feet of Martin Luther King at the University of Michigan in 1963, Larry Brilliant was swept up into the civil rights movement, marching and protesting across America and Europe. As a radical young doctor he followed the hippie trail from London over the Khyber Pass with his wife Girija, Wavy Gravy and the Hog Farm commune to India. There, he found himself in a Himalayan ashram wondering whether he had stumbled into a cult. Instead, one of India’s greatest spiritual teachers, Neem Karoli Baba, opened Larry’s heart and told him his destiny was to work for the World Health Organization to help eradicate killer smallpox. He would never have believed he would become a key player in eliminating a 10,000-year-old disease that killed more than half a billion people in the 20th century alone.

Brilliant’s unlikely trajectory, chronicled in Sometimes Brilliant, has brought him into close proximity with political leaders, spiritual masters, cultural heroes, and titans of technology around the world—from the Grateful Dead to Mikhail Gorbachev, from Ram Dass, the Dalai Lama, Lama Govinda, and Karmapa to Steve Jobs and the founders of Google, Salesforce, Facebook, Microsoft and eBay and Presidents Carter, Clinton, Bush and Obama. Anchored by the engrossing account of the heroic efforts of the extraordinary people involved in smallpox eradication in India, this is a riveting and fascinating epidemiological adventure, an honest reckoning of an entire generation, and a deeply moving spiritual memoir. It is a testament to faith, love, service, and what it means to engage with life’s most important questions in pursuit of a better, more brilliant existence.

©2016 Larry Brilliant (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers

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Sometimes Brilliant--Brilliant

Inspiring. Intelligent. Reverting. Challenging. One of the important books in my life leading me to compassion for all. Maharaji's words (paraphrased), "Better to see God in everyone than try to figure things out," and "You must have pure intention free of desire for self," speak to me deeply.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Amazing book

loved this book and couldn't wait to get to last word. Truly inspiring and uplifting story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Brilliant

Heart-warming intriguing a must listen for all generations. Be prepared for an emotional joyful tearful roller coaster ride.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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amazing

This book made me feel a deeper level of spiritual peace. I recommend it to all searchers.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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an adventure tale that's true to life.

This amazing autobiographical tale by Larry Brilliant about his Guru and his time with the World Health Organization defeating the 10000 year old scourge of smallpox. Katie I loved everything about it. The story, The pacing, the self-reflection, the tales of neem karoli Baba comma and Wavy Gravy on the road.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Inspiring

Thank you for this book. Your story is an inspiration, thank you for sharing it with us.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Curiously compelling!

The story never failed to pique my interest!
A history lesson I never had in school...

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Fabulous!

Heroic and inspirational. And well written and well narrated. An extra bonus of recognition and amazement if you were in India in the first half of the 70s.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A reminder that one person can make a difference

Although a bit heavy on the 'hippy time' memories, this book is worth a listen. Thank you, Dr. Briliant, for sharing your unique journey with us all and reminding us all that perseverance is important and those that continue to try can succeed and make a difference in this world.

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Beyond expectations, a beacon of wisdom, depth and humor

I traveled overland to Afghanistan in 1971 and wish I’d encountered Dr America, Girija and the Hogg Farm there! But those years also offered me mystical experiences, spiritual mentors, a guru and embracing the world and it’s rainbows of cultures as they did Larry Brilliant. I just wish I’d made as much of my opportunities as he did. His life story is so profound and entertaining. How he merged his devotion to an Indian guru and insights with his Western sensibility, professionalism and as a Silicon Valley insider is astonishing! Sometimes Brilliant is one of the best books I have ever read. One read is not enough.