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Gandhi: A Memoir

4.01  ·  Rating Details  ·  294 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
In August of 1934, journalist William Shirer arrived in Berlin to find the Nazis preparing for confrontation with the rest of Europe. As chief of Universal News Service's Berlin office, Shirer was eyewitness to many events: the Nuremberg rallies and the Olympics of 1936; Germany's military build-up and the occupation of lands around its borders; Hitler's meetings with Nevi ...more
Paperback, 255 pages
Published January 1st 1981 by Simon & Schuster (first published 1979)
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Erik Graff
Jan 11, 2013 Erik Graff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: biography
I became very interested in Gandhi during high school. Revolution was in the air, had been in the air throughout the post-war period, since before my birth, but it had come home by the time I entered secondary school. The enormity of the unnecessary suffering in the world was staggering and my country was responsible for much of it. While I gave an ear to all revolutionary movements and radicals promoting solutions, Gandhi was especially appealing in that he had actually participated in leading ...more
Amit Kurien
As an Indian grown-up in post-independence India, I learnt about the great man and his formidable aides (Jawaharlal Nehru, Vallabhbhai Patel, Sarojini Naidu et al.) only through history books, articles by other Indians of the post-independence India, through newspapers, talks - all forums where M. K. Gandhi is spoken of always as someone who along with other freedom fighters got it all correct, and sorted for India. Reading Shirer after such an experience makes for good reading of Gandhi. What o ...more
Matt Gunderson
Mar 12, 2012 Matt Gunderson rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Matt by: Erik Graff
Can't remember any book that I've read in the recent years that has touched me so deeply. Absolutely beautiful.
Mar 24, 2009 Jon rated it liked it

This book is an interesting introduction to Gandhi. It was written by the international news correspondent of the old school William Shirer who, apparently fairly open minded and liberal in nature, actually seemed to "get" Gandhi on a certain level and obviously admired and respected him greatly.

Though Shirer's actual personal contact with Gandhi was limited to a brief period of time during 1930-32, he remained in persoanl correspondence with him throughout the rest of his life and, of course, h
Aug 14, 2015 Steve rated it liked it
High 3. This is an interesting eye-witness account from the author who was sent by the Chicago Tribune to cover Gandhi's Civil Disobedience Movement between 1930-32. Shirer provides an insightful memoir which displays the inspirational yet contradictory figure who so tormented the British Empire's hold on the 'jewel in the crown'. The author captures the amazing scenes of the vast crowds who surged dangerously to see their
saviour and the endless energy and enthusiasm of this elderly iconic figur
Let me qualify the 3 stars. This subject of Gandhi's life is the most incredible cake served in the styrofoam cup of this book. The cake proved a bit difficult to eat. Why? Well, major lack of sentence fluency. AND major overabundance of words per sentence. (I give two sentences at the bottom of my review as examples.) I wonder if Shirer was a bit ADD. Or perhaps I don't understand his journalism style of writing. Either is possible. However, the content must have overcome the distracting writin ...more
Anshu Raj Singh
Dec 09, 2015 Anshu Raj Singh rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
A below average book, written by a man who was in contact with Gandhi for a short duration, and was in awe of him.
Jul 23, 2007 Mychal rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: someone interested in the civil-disobedience movement and non-violence movements
Shelves: goodreads
I started reading this book because I have always been interested in Gandhi's civil-disobedience and nonviolence movements against the British. I never really knew much about his country's circumstances until having read this book. It was an interesting background of the lives of those in India throughout the early to mid 1900s. The book offered a great background and story of Gandhi, but it did get a little too graphic at the end when it discussed the Mahatama's sex life...Otherwise, I really l ...more
Mar 31, 2007 Peter rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People interested in Justice
This book gave me a better grasp of Gandhi's life - and particularly his political contributions. It is written from an American's perspective. Shirer was a reporter from the Chicago Tribune assigned to travel with and cover's Gandhi's activities. It seems that Gandhi took a liking to Shirer thus he was given a unique window into Gandhi's daily life and thoughts. The author is effusive in his praise for Gandhi - though he is also honest about some of Gandhi's idiosyncracies and contradictions.
Jul 18, 2012 Terry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
Ghandi is amazing because he peacefully overthrew the strongest imperialist force in the world and a large country to democracy. I wanted to know more about this feat, and this book described the relationship between this American news reporter and Ghandi. Ghandi accomplished his goals by working hard, knowing what was right, and being typically Indian. He set examples for many other civil rights leaders, who like he, suffered persecution and still won their ideals.
Mar 14, 2009 Mia rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2009, nonfiction
Provides a fairly even-handed story of an American journalist's friendship with Mahatma Gandhi, and examines the cultural, political and interpersonal environs in which he moved and lived.
Useful as a primer in modern Indian history, since one rarely gets a perspective on Gandhi or the struggle for Indian independence (or the creation of Pakistan) from most casual awareness of history.
Jan 21, 2014 Sheila rated it really liked it
William Shirer's memoir about the year he spend with Gandhi in India. Not the best book I've read by Shirer, but good nevertheless. I am not sure Gandhi's ideas were quite as good as Shirer believed, but it was good enough that now I have to read Gandhi's biography.
Matthew Carlin
Dec 27, 2012 Matthew Carlin rated it it was amazing
Perfect. Shirer is the best possible primary source to tell Westerners about the great Eastern man. I found this book a delightful, relatively easy read, and I feel like I learned a lot from it, not just about history, but about life.
Tom Schulte
Jun 03, 2013 Tom Schulte rated it really liked it
A mostly political biography of one of the most dynamic and far-sighted leaders of this Century, from the author of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.
This was really cool to hear from William's point of view - he was really even handed and did a good job describing what happened behind the scenes.
Jun 07, 2012 Lindsay rated it liked it
A good read, but I have never read another book about the man so I feel like I am missing info about his childhood and early years too.
Jul 21, 2012 Onon rated it really liked it
Insightful first hand information to a saintly great man's history.
Apr 20, 2016 Jan rated it really liked it
A short well-written memoir of a mighty man!
Jean Marie Angelo
Jul 27, 2014 Jean Marie Angelo rated it it was amazing
A worthy read. Bears rereading some day.
Bryan Neuschwander
Engaging portrait of a remarkable man.
Aug 02, 2012 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
be the change!
Alert Holtman
Nov 03, 2012 Alert Holtman rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Interesting guy
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May 27, 2016
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May 19, 2016
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William Lawrence Shirer was an American journalist and historian. He became known for his broadcasts on CBS from the German capital of Berlin through the first year of World War II.

Shirer first became famous through his account of those years in his Berlin Diary (published in 1941), but his greatest achievement was his 1960 book, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, originally published by Simon
More about William L. Shirer...

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