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Gandhi & Churchill: The Epic Rivalry That Destroyed an Empire and Forged Our Ageby Arthur Herman
Synopses & Reviews
In this fascinating and meticulously researched book, bestselling historian Arthur Herman sheds new light on two of the most universally recognizable icons of the twentieth century, and reveals how their forty-year rivalry sealed the fate of India and the British Empire.
They were born worlds apart: Winston Churchill to Britain’s most glamorous aristocratic family, Mohandas Gandhi to a pious middle-class household in a provincial town in India. Yet Arthur Herman reveals how their lives and careers became intertwined as the twentieth century unfolded. Both men would go on to lead their nations through harrowing trials and two world wars—and become locked in a fierce contest of wills that would decide the fate of countries, continents, and ultimately an empire.
Gandhi & Churchill reveals how both men were more alike than different, and yet became bitter enemies over the future of India, a land of 250 million people with 147 languages and dialects and 15 distinct religions—the jewel in the crown of Britain’s overseas empire for 200 years.
Over the course of a long career, Churchill would do whatever was necessary to ensure that India remain British—including a fateful redrawing of the entire map of the Middle East and even risking his alliance with the United States during World War Two.
Mohandas Gandhi, by contrast, would dedicate his life to India’s liberation, defy death and imprisonment, and create an entirely new kind of political movement: satyagraha, or civil disobedience. His campaigns of nonviolence in defiance of Churchill and the British, including his famous Salt March, would become the blueprint not only for the independence of India but for the civil rights movement in the U.S. and struggles for freedom across the world.
Now master storyteller Arthur Herman cuts through the legends and myths about these two powerful, charismatic figures and reveals their flaws as well as their strengths. The result is a sweeping epic of empire and insurrection, war and political intrigue, with a fascinating supporting cast, including General Kitchener, Rabindranath Tagore, Franklin Roosevelt, Lord Mountbatten, and Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan. It is also a brilliant narrative parable of two men whose great successes were always haunted by personal failure, and whose final moments of triumph were overshadowed by the loss of what they held most dear.
A dual portrait of Winston Churchill and Mahatma Gandhi describes their fierce, forty-year struggle against each other for the future of Indian independence, from the outbreak of the Great War to the end of World War II, detailing their dramatic influence on each other, as well as their lasting legacy for the British empire and the future course of modern history. 75,000 first printing.
About the Author
Arthur Herman is the bestselling author of How the Scots Invented the Modern World, which has sold over 350,000 copies worldwide, and To Rule the Waves: How the British Navy Shaped the Modern World, which was nominated for the prestigious Mountbatten Prize in 2005. He is a former professor of history at Georgetown University, Catholic University, and the Smithsonian’s Campus on the Mall.
Table of Contents
The Churchills and the Raj — Lord Randolph takes charge — Illusions of power: The Gandhis, India, and British Rule — Awakening: Gandhi in London and South Africa, 1888-1895 — Awakening II: churchill in India, 1896-1899 — Men at war, 1899-1900 — Converging paths, 1900-1906 — Brief encounter, 1906-1909 — Break point, 1909-1910 — Parting of the ways, 1911-1914 — A bridgehead too far, 1914-1915 — Gandhi's war, 1915-1918 — Bloodshed, 1919-1920 — Noncooperation, 1920-1922 — Reversal of fortunes, 1922-1929 — Eve of battle, 1929 — Salt, 1930 — Round tables and naked fakirs, 1930-1931 — Contra mundum, 1931-1932 — Last ditch, 1932-1935 — Against the current, 1936-1938 — Edge of darkness, 1938-1939 — Collision course, 1939-1940 — From Narvik to Bardoli, April 1940-December 1941 — Debacle, 1941-1942 — Quit India, 1942 — Showdown, 1943 — Triumph and tragedy, 1943-1945 — Walk alone, 1945-1947 — Death in the garden, 1947-1948 — Lion in twilight, 1948-1965 — Conclusion: Triumph and tragedy.
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Biography » Historical