Synopses & Reviews
Jad Adams traces the course of Gandhi's multi-faceted life, and the development of his religious, political, and social thinking over seven tumultuous decades: from his comfortable upbringing in a princely state in Gujarat; his early civil rights campaigns; his leadership through civil disobedience in the 1920s and 1930s that made him a world icon; and finally to his assassination by a Hindu extremist in 1948, only months after the birth of an independent India. An elegant and masterly account of one of the seminal figures of twentieth-century history, Adams presents for the first time the true story behind the man whose life may truly be said to have changed the world.
"Adding fresh insight to a life so well documented is no mean feat, but Adams's biography of Gandhi eschews hagiography and offers critical insights about the revered political and spiritual leader. Scholars of Indian politics are no strangers to the notion that 'Gandhi was a great leader but a poor politician,' and Adams (Hideous Absinthe) attends to this naÃ¯vetÃ©. But the author pulls the veil back much more dramatically on Gandhi's personal life, notably his obsession with chastity and his practice of testing it by sleeping next to teenage girls in some cases, his young relatives and receiving daily nude massages from his female devotees. And while Gandhi was an astute campaigner, he was also willful, fixated on his own personal dietary and sexual beliefs, and a bit of a brute to his family. Adams observes that he behaved 'not always well toward his friends and supporters, but wonderfully towards people he did not know, and with an outflowing of spontaneous benevolence towards those toiling masses that he would never know in person.' The author veers on occasion into overly psychoanalytic dissection of Gandhi's motives, attributing his poor treatment of his offspring to 'the carnality of their creation, as if he saw in his own sons nothing but the embodiment of the copulatory urge that had to be tamed.' But Adams provides a balanced view of the complex figure whose personal, spiritual and historical legacy are no less great for being flawed. (July)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
An elegant and masterly account of one of the seminal figures of twentieth-century history, Adams presents for the first time the true story behind the man whose life may truly be said to have changed the world.
"Provocative. Adams strips away Gandhi's saintly aura and explores the duality . . . of India's most famous leader."--
For anyone trying to find a way through the myriad political byways of modern India and Pakistan, Adams’s biography is the perfect starting point.There have been enough hagiographies of this great figure, and after his death there was a concerted effort to erase some embarrassing truths from the Gandhi legend. This is a vividly human book.Adams focuses not on the idealized apostle of peace, but Gandhi the man.
About the Author
Jad Adams is a historian and television producer. He is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society and is currently a visiting research fellow of the School of Advanced Study at the University of London.