Gandhi: A Life

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Gandhi: A Life reveals the transformation of an ordinary, timid young man into a leader whose stand against a mighty empire brought millions together. From the poor and the illiterate to the intelligentsia and the rich, Gandhi's followers forged a sustained, non-violent movement for independence. When Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born in 1869, India was divided. British India, ruled by the Viceroy from Delhi, stood in stark contrast to the other India, a checkerboard of hundreds of princely states, royal ...
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Gandhi: A Life

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Overview

Gandhi: A Life reveals the transformation of an ordinary, timid young man into a leader whose stand against a mighty empire brought millions together. From the poor and the illiterate to the intelligentsia and the rich, Gandhi's followers forged a sustained, non-violent movement for independence. When Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born in 1869, India was divided. British India, ruled by the Viceroy from Delhi, stood in stark contrast to the other India, a checkerboard of hundreds of princely states, royal instruments without political power. Shortly before his nineteenth birthday, Gandhi - by then a husband and father of several years - set sail from Bombay to England to study law; shortly therafter, he traveled to South Africa to practice. An outsider, the young barrister tasted firsthand the bitter fruits of class prejudice, racial intolerance, and colonial oppression. At the same time, his pursuit of spiritual fulfillment and a keen curiosity about the world's diverse religions nourished Gandhi's own deeply felt convictions, pointing him toward the path along which he would guide India to independence.
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Editorial Reviews

Washington Post Book
Chadha uncovers what Louis Fischer and Judith M. Brown--to take two of the major Western biographers--missed in their seemingly thorough works...Gandhi: A Life has other offerings not found in conventional biographies. Gandhi scholarship will be well served by Chadha's effort. --The Washington Post Book World
Kirkus Reviews
The first major biography in over 20 years of perhaps the most remarkable, and certainly one of the strangest men ever to exercise important political influence. Born in 1869, married, as was customary at that time, at the age of 13, sent over to London to become a barrister, Gandhi found his vocation when he went to South Africa to deal with a large case, and enlisted himself in the struggle against discrimination against Asians. There he learned many of the techniques he later used against the British, including satyagraha, þthe Force that is born of Truth and Love or non-violence.þ On his return to India in 1915, he criticized the þindescribable filthþ of the country, the conspicuous wealth of the maharajahs, and the continuing discrimination against the untouchables. His campaigns against the conditions of the Indian workers and against the hated salt tax attracted huge support, and his strategy of noncooperation with the British landed him in jail. And yet for all his efforts, his þfasts unto deathþ to reconcile Hindu and Muslim, his continuing emphasis on nonviolence, when independence came in 1947, the partition of the country was accompanied by an orgy of blood-lettingþand his own assassination at the hands of a Hindu extremist. Odd as he was, a small, unimposing man with no front teeth and spindly legs, a fanatical vegetarian who ceased marital relations with his wife at 36 and who believed that sex was only permissible for procreation, and whose knowledge of events outside India was limited, by the 1930s, as Nehru put it, þGandhi was India.þ It is perhaps the supreme example of the power of moral force in politics, andChadha, an Indian businessman who has spent the past eight years researching and writing this book, lets the record, so far as possible, speak for itself. It is balanced, even-handed, and, like its subject, inspiring.
From the Publisher
* Chadha uncovers what Louis Fischer and Judith M. Brown to take two of the major Western biographers missed in their seemingly thorough works...Gandhi: A Life has other offerings not found in conventional biographies. Gandhi scholarship will be well served by Chadha's effort."—The Washington Post Book World
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471243786
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/1/1998
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 576
  • Product dimensions: 6.37 (w) x 9.44 (h) x 1.73 (d)

Meet the Author

YOGESH CHADHA was born in Jammu, India, and educated in India and England. After working in London and Toronto, he gave up all other commitments to write this biography. Mr. Chadha currently lives in New Delhi.
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Table of Contents

The Mahatma: Background and Boyhood.
Growing Pains.
Law Student in London.
Briefless Barrister.
Unwelcome Visitor.
Exposure to Christianity.
Emerging Leader.
The Green Pamphlet.
Self-Reliance and War.
Indian Interlude.
Phoenix.
Brahmacharya.
A Mission to London.
Birth of Satyagraha.
The Petitioner and the Terrorists.
The New Outlook.
Tolstoy Farm.
Glimmer of Hope.
Satyagraha: A Moral Victory.
The Moderates and the Extremists.
Return of the Native.
A Speech to Remember.
The Stain of Indigo.
Sabarmati.
Massacre.
Leader of the Nation.
The Great Trial.
The "Silent" Years.
A Pinch of Salt Rocks an Empire.
Truce.
Round Table Conference.
Crusade Against Untouchability.
In Turmoil.
The Rift Widens.
Subhas Chandra Bose.
Descent into War.
"Quit India" Movement.
Detention in the Aga Khan Palace.
India in Suspense.
The Cabinet Mission.
The Ordeal of Noakhali.
Vivisection.
Calcutta.
Anguished Refugees.
The Last Fast.
The Last Journey.
The Hatching of the Plot.
A Permissive Assassination.
The Judicial Verdict.
Glossary.
Bibliography.
Chapter Notes.
Acknowledgements.
Index.
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