Synopses & Reviews
More than half a century after his death, Mahatma Gandhi continues to inspire millions throughout the world. Yet modern India, most strikingly in its decision to join the nuclear arms race, seems to have abandoned much of his nonviolent vision. Inspired by recent events in India, Stanley Wolpert offers this subtle and profound biography of India's "Great Soul."
Wolpert compellingly chronicles the life of Mahatma Gandhi from his early days as a child of privilege to his humble rise to power and his assassination at the hands of a man of his own faith. This trajectory, like that of Christ, was the result of Gandhi's passion: his conscious courting of suffering as the means to reach divine truth. From his early campaigns to stop discrimination in South Africa to his leadership of a people's revolution to end the British imperial domination of India, Gandhi emerges as a man of inner conflicts obscured by his political genius and moral vision. Influenced early on by nonviolent teachings in Hinduism, Jainism, Christianity, and Buddhism, he came to insist on the primacy of love for one's adversary in any conflict as the invincible power for change. His unyielding opposition to intolerance and oppression would inspire India like no leader since the Buddha--creating a legacy that would encourage Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela, and other global leaders to demand a better world through peaceful civil disobedience.
By boldly considering Gandhi the man, rather than the living god depicted by his disciples, Wolpert provides an unprecedented representation of Gandhi's personality and the profound complexities that compelled his actions and brought freedom to India.
"The fruit of more than 50 years of reflection by a distinguished Asian scholar, Wolpert's biography cuts through the misconceptions surrounding the father of modern India, untangling the complex relationship between his personal spirituality and his public influence."--Booklist
"A dense, comprehensive survey of the events of Gandhi's life, tracing his metamorphosis from pampered child to "great soul"....A clear-eyed chronicle of an exemplary life....Appropriately complex biography, deftly maintaining a balance of sophistication and explication."--Kirkus Reviews
"In reminding us of the details of his extraordinary life, Stanley Wolpert has done the Mahatma--and all of us--a signal service."--The Washinton Post Book World
By boldly considering Mahatma Gandhi the man, rather than the living god depicted by his disciples, Wolpert provides an unprecedented representation of Gandhi's personality and the profound complexities that compelled his actions and brought freedom to India. 30 halftones.
About the Author
is Distinguished Professor of South Asian History Emeritus at the University of California, Los Angeles. He has published twenty books on South Asia, including Nehru: A Tryst with Destiny, A New History of India
, and Jinnah of Pakistan