Gandhi's Passion

Gandhi's Passion : The Life and Legacy of Mahatma Gandhi

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This title looks at Mahatma Gandhi: his life, his work and his legacy. It follows his early influences from Jainism to Buddhism, and focuses on his unique philosophy of non-violence in the face of brutality, as well as providing a biography of the man within. His yogic resolve to dedicate himself to the nationalist struggle for liberating India from British imperial rule inspired millions to follow his passionate lead on the road to freedom. Gandhi taught his followers to set aside fear of prison, physical punishment or death, while at the same time insisting that violence had no place in the Satyagraha campaign, arguing that non-violence or love was the essence of God. Early influenced by the non-violence teachings of Jainism, Jesus Christ, and Buddha, Gandhi insisted on the primacy of love for one's adversary in any conflict, convinced that this mighty power would ultimately disarm the cruellest enemy.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 400 pages
  • 162.6 x 241.3 x 26.4mm | 630.5g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 30 halftones, bibliography, index
  • 019513060X
  • 9780195130607

About Stanley Wolpert

Stanley Wolpert 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. He lives in Los Angeles.show more

Table of contents

Preface. Introduction. I: Midnight in Calcutta. II: Dawn in Gujarat. III: The Impact of Victorian London. IV: Brief Interlude at Home. V: Early Traumas and Triumphs in South Africa. VI: Between Two Worlds. VII: Satyagraha in South Africa. VIII: Victory through Suffering. IX: The Impact of World War I. X: Post-War Carnage and Nationwide Satyagraha. XI: Cotton Spinning. XII: Rising of the Poison. XIII: The Road Back to Satyagraha. XIV: The Salt March and Prison Aftermath. XV: From Prison to London and Back. XVI: Imprisoned Soul of India. XVII: Return to Rural Uplift. XVIII: Prelude to War and Partition. XIX: War and Peaceful Resistance. XX: War Behind Bars. XXI: No Peace. XXII: Walking Alone. XXIII: Freedom's Wooden Loft. XXIV: Great Soul's Death in Delhi. XXV: His Indian Legacy. XXVI: His Global Legacy. Notes. Bibliography. Indexshow more

Review quote

"Although the legacy of Mahatma Gandhi may be immortal, the reality in India in the twenty-first century does reflect that. Material greed, corruption, abuse of power, and communal violence are ever present in Indian society. Wolpert's fifty-year passion for the study of Gandhi is not, however, negated by this current history. Wolpert's study is of great value."-- Histroy "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"There have been many books about Gandhi, including those by the subject himself. What has always been needed is a full, literate account by someone closely familiar with India and Indian history who is also an accomplished writer and historian. This, we now have. Henceforth no one can claim knowledge of one of the greatest and most enigmatic figures of the last century who hasn't read it. And, I might add, no one will read it without interest and approval."--John Kenneth Galbraithshow more

Review Text

A dense, comprehensive survey of the events in Gandhi's life, tracing his metamorphosis from pampered child of privilege to "great soul.".Galvanized by India's recent embrace of nuclear weaponry, so contrary to Gandhi's teachings, Wolpert ("Nehru", 1996) has set out to trace the life of this nonviolent visionary. He cogently illustrates how circumstances transformed ambitious, principled Mohandas Gandhi, son of the prime minister of a princely Indian state, into a Mahatma (an Indian term for "great soul") who renounced all material and sensual pleasures. Beginning with Gandhi's unlooked-for awakening in London (where he was much impressed by British traditions of law and equality), and continuing through the coalescing of his activist bent in South Africa, Wolpert quotes extensively from Gandhi's books, articles, and letters, all of which provide a good deal of insight into his motivations. Yet a biographer can only go so far in explaining the political genius that, coupled with intense fortitude and resolve, enabled Gandhi to devise so many methods of nonviolent resistance. Something indefinable drove him to action wherever he perceived injustice - from taxes imposed on the Indian community in the Transvaal to the plight of indigo-farming peasants in India to the British occupation of the subcontinent itself (and its subsequent bloody division into the two nations of India and Pakistan). Gandhi was still working for peace, begging Hindus and Muslims to stop the massacres, when he was assassinated in 1948. Although Wolpert's admiration for his subject is so fervent as to be occasionally distracting, this is on balance a clear-eyed chronicle of an exemplary life. .Appropriately complex biography, deftly maintaining a balance of sophistication and explication. . (Kirkus Reviews)show more

Rating details

199 ratings
3.61 out of 5 stars
5 27% (54)
4 28% (55)
3 30% (59)
2 11% (21)
1 5% (10)
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