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Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle with Indiaby Joseph Lelyveld
Synopses & Reviews
A brilliantly illuminating book on Mahatma Gandhi that enriches our understanding of his means, his accomplishments, and his failures.
Gandhi has long been considered a visionary and a martyr. And certainly, he was that rare leader wholly devoted to his people. But in this ambitious, stirring, original study, Pulitzer Prize–winner Joseph Lelyveld sets out to measure Gandhi’s accomplishments as a politician and an advocate for the downtrodden—against Gandhi’s own expectations and in light of his complex, conflicted feelings about his place in Indian history.
Lelyveld traces the roots of Gandhi’s philosophy of reform to South Africa, exploring in unmatched depth the campaigns for social justice he undertook there, and chronicling his continued efforts when he returned to India. We see why he became known as Mahatma—Great Soul—but we also see clearly that he was unable to achieve all the goals he set for himself and his country, suffering bitter disappointment at this shortfall, most profoundly in 1947 when India was partitioned.
Here is a profoundly intelligent, vital reconsideration of Gandhi’s extraordinary accomplishments, of his fierce but finally unfulfilled hopes, and of his ever-evolving legacy.
An analysis of the visionary leader's less-understood accomplishments as a politician and civil rights advocate reveals Gandhi's conflicted ideologies and feelings about his place in history, offering insight into his philosophies, social campaigns and private disappointments. By the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Move Your Shadow.
About the Author
Joseph Lelyveld’s career at The New York Times spanned nearly four decades and included stints as a foreign correspondent in India and South Africa, foreign editor, managing editor, and executive editor. He is the author of Move Your Shadow: South Africa, Black and White, which won the Pulitzer Prize, and he is the recipient of two George Polk Awards and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Since retiring from the Times, he has written for The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker, and The New York Times Magazine, and published a memoir, Omaha Blues. He lives in New York City.
Table of Contents
South Africa — Prologue : an unwelcome visitor — No-touchism — Among Zulus — Upper house — Leading the indentured — India — Waking India — Unapproachability — Hail, deliverer — Fast unto death — Village of service — Mass mayhem — Do or die.
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