GANDHI: The Years that Changed the World 1914-1948


GANDHI: The Years that Changed the World 1914-1948

RAMACHANDRA GUHA    Book Number: 91350    Product format: Hardback

When Time magazine was looking for a "person of the century" in 2000, the popular choice was Elvis Presley, but the magazine pundits hastily rejected Elvis in favour of Albert Einstein, with Mahatma Gandhi a close second. 50 years after his death, Gandhi was still slightly controversial, even though Martin Luther King admired him and President Obama chose Gandhi as the historical personage he would most like to have a meal with. British opinion has always been muted, perhaps inevitably since Gandhi's biggest life work, described in meticulous detail in this second volume of biography, was to throw off the oppressive mantle of the British Raj. When Gandhi was assassinated in 1948, Churchill made no public reference, though the Prime Minister, Clement Attlee, praised his idealism and courage and the last governor-general of India, Lord Mountbatten, mourned his death as a world event. Other tributes revealed both the reverence and the controversy his life had prompted. The leader of the Muslim party called him a great Hindu leader, but others in the Muslim world generously accorded him global status. Gandhi's bitter opponent Ambedkar, who fought for a separate electorate for the Untouchables, made no public comment but wrote of his sadness to a friend. This book starts in 1914 at the point where Gandhi leaves his home and career as a lawyer in South Africa, sailing for India via London to embark on a programme of satyagraha or truth-force, manifested in peaceful violation of unjust laws. Arriving in Bombay in 1915 he made contact with rising politicians including the Muslim Jinnah and the Brahmin V S Srinivasi Shastri, joining the growing movement for self-government in the Indian National Congress party. Gandhi's ashram in Ahmedabad became a model where devotees lived simply and were encouraged to embrace celibacy. In 1918 his intervention in the Punjab gave rise to a British government enquiry, followed by the game-changing Salt marches against unjust taxation. The lifelong fight which would involve many fasts, imprisonments and high-level politics had begun. A monumental 1083pp, black and white photos.
Published price: $40
Bibliophile price: £12.50


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ISBN 9780385532310
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