M.K. Gandhi, Attorney at Law: The Man before the Mahatma

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Overview


In 1888, at the age of eighteen, Mohandas Gandhi sets out from his modest home in India. Shy, timid, and soft-spoken, he embarks on what he believes will be a new life abroad. Twenty-seven years later, at the age of forty-five, he returns—this time fearless, impassioned, and ready to lead his country to freedom.

What transformed him? 

The law.

M. K. Gandhi, Attorney at Law is the first biography of the ...

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M.K. Gandhi, Attorney at Law: The Man before the Mahatma

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Overview


In 1888, at the age of eighteen, Mohandas Gandhi sets out from his modest home in India. Shy, timid, and soft-spoken, he embarks on what he believes will be a new life abroad. Twenty-seven years later, at the age of forty-five, he returns—this time fearless, impassioned, and ready to lead his country to freedom.

What transformed him? 

The law.

M. K. Gandhi, Attorney at Law is the first biography of the Mahatma’s early years as a lawyer. It follows Gandhi as he embarks on a personal journey of self-discovery: from his education in Britain, through the failure of his first law practice in India, to his eventual migration to South Africa. Though he found initial success representing wealthy Indian merchants, events on the ground would come to change him. Relentless attacks by the white colonial establishment on Indian civil rights prompted Gandhi to give up his lucrative business in favor of representing the oppressed in court. Gandhi had originally hoped that the South African legal system could be relied upon for justice. But when the courts failed to respond, he had no choice but to shift tactics, developing what would ultimately become his lasting legacy—the philosophy and practice of nonviolent civil disobedience.

As he took on the most powerful governmental, economic, and political forces of his day, Gandhi transformed himself from a modest civil rights lawyer into a tireless freedom fighter. Relying on never-before-seen archival materials, this book provides the reader with a front-row seat to the dramatic events that would alter Gandhi—and history—forever.

 

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Editorial Reviews

Asian Review of Books - Nigel Collett

“A very powerful and original contribution to Gandhian studies.”
The Caravan: A Journal of Politics and Culture - Tridip Suhrud

“DiSalvo, through painstaking work in the legal archives of South Africa and in the archives of the Sabarmati Ashram, has written the first account of Gandhi’s life in law. . . . The Man Before the Mahatma is without doubt among the finest in a long biographical tradition.”
Books And Culture - Tim Stafford

“South Africa was . . . a profoundly racist society. . . . This inescapable reality forced on Gandhi a response. Here Charles DiSalvo's book, examining Gandhi's life as a lawyer, is particularly worthwhile.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520280151
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 11/15/2013
  • Pages: 392
  • Sales rank: 470,204
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author


Charles R. DiSalvo is the Woodrow A. Potesta Professor of Law at West Virginia University where he teaches one of the few law school courses on civil disobedience in the United States. He has also represented civil disobedients in trial and appellate courts, written widely on civil disobedience, and lectured on the subject in the United States and abroad. He is the co-founder of the West Virginia Fund for Law in the Public Interest.
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Table of Contents


Introduction

1. Dispatched to London
2. The Barrister Who Couldn’t Speak
3. An Abundant and Regular Supply of Labour
4. Dada Abdulla’s White Elephant
5. Not a White Barrister
6. Formation Lessons
7. Waller’s Question
8. A Public Man
9. To Maritzburg
10. Moth and Flame
11. Sacrifice
12. Transition and the Transvaal
13. No Bed of Roses
14. Disobedience
15. Courthouse to Jailhouse
16. Malpractice
17. Courtroom as Laboratory
18. Closing Arguments

Mohandas K. Gandhi Chronology
Abbreviations
Notes
Sources
Acknowledgments

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2014

    Warriors den

    Leafclan

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