Mahatma Gandhi: Nonviolent Power in Actionby Dennis Dalton
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First published in 1993, Dennis Dalton's iconoclastic account of Gandhi's political and intellectual development gained prominence for its balance and extensive research, as well as its portrayal of Gandhi as a deeply human and complex force. Focusing on the leader's two signal triumphs: the civil disobedience movement (or salt satyagraha) of 1930 and the Calcutta fast of 1947, Dalton makes clear that Gandhi's lifelong career in national politics gave him the opportunity to develop and refine his ideals. He controversially concludes with a comparison of Gandhi's methods and the strategies of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, proposing a fascinating juxtaposition that not only enriches the biography of all three figures but also proves Gandhi's relevance to the study of race and political leadership in America. A new afterword situates Gandhi within the "clash of civilizations" debate, identifying the implications for continuing nonviolent protests. Dalton also conducts an extensive overview of Gandhian studies and includes a detailed chronology of events in Gandhi's life and leadership.
The product of seasoned research and of several decades of teaching, reading, thinking, and acting on Gandhi's ideas. It is a rich stew, and a feast for those who appreciate careful scholarship and the continuing power of Gandhian thought.... Dalton's book helps to ensure that Gandhi's voice will be heard beyond this generation and this century, and well into the next.
This is more than a biography or a political history. We are offered a penetrating analysis of Gandhian philosophy as revealed in his most individual operations.
Sensitive, sympathetic, and lucid.
[Dalton's] new approach to place Gandhi in the context of other major political and social leaders of India, and then assess him as a successful leader, appeared to enhance the methodology of this very well informed and analyzed book, which deserves a place in any good library in the world.
Represents the culmination of decades of research and study... which accounts for Dalton's sureness of touch, cogent handling of ideas, lucid prose, and effortless movement between theory and narrative.... Although it adds important new dimensions to the specialist's understanding of Gandhi, it can also serve as a readable and absorbing introduction to the man.
Thoughtful and original.
"[Dalton's] valuable insight is that Gandhi's formation of himself as a leader represented a strategy of defense against fear and shame.... The broad scope of references and the command of detail on Indian politics and political theory that the work exhibits bear witness to long and thoughtful research.
In this masterly analysis, Dalton shows how Gandhi's vision of a good life expressed itself in political action. Dalton has very wisely included what one seldom finds in books on Gandhi: examples of the trenchant criticism of his methods and his ideas that were made by Indian contemporaries.
A beautiful, fine-grained piece of historical and textual research; cool, committed, and convincing in an intellectual terrain strewn with excessively passionate convictions. Dalton 'shows' rather than tells, through a meticulous examination of official speeches and administrative responses, the deep doubts about the legitimacy of their acts that Gandhi implanted in the minds of the highest and lowest British officials. Dalton also shows how the Mahatma's public enactment of self-sacrifice and renunciation demonstrated an efficacy not granted in conventional political acts within the context of religious viciousness and killing: lessons for Gandhi's era and ours.
An excellent book.
- Columbia University Press
- Publication date:
- Sold by:
- Barnes & Noble
- NOOK Book
- File size:
- 7 MB
- Age Range:
- 18 Years
Meet the Author
Dennis Dalton was the Ann Whitney Olin Professor of Political Science and is now emeritus at Barnard College, Columbia University. The winner of a Fulbright scholarship and grants from the American Council of Learned Societies and the American Philosophical Institute, he is the author of Indian Idea of Freedom: Political Thought of Swami Vivekananda, Aurobindo Ghose, Mahatma Gandhi, and Rabindranath Tagore and editor of Mahatma Gandhi: Selected Political Writings.
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