Gandhi is one of those few figures whose name inspires near-universal reverence. In India, within a barely a century after his death, he is already somewhere between Jesus Christ and the Buddha. Perhaps there are a few diehard colonialists and preservers of Empire who still despise him, and aside from them, those few fervent religious devotees.
Yet he is still controversial. His role in Indi ...more
Reading Joseph Lelyveld's sensitive and informative biography of the life of Mahatma Gandhi is enriching in many ways: the quality of writing is first class, the manner in which he shares the entire spectrum of the life of one of the greatest contemporary philosophers of man is both learned and involving, and the ability to discuss the human aspects of a man who has been all but officially canonized takes great courage. GREAT SOUL: MAHATMA GANDHI AND HIS ST ...more
A friend who read the same book was irritated that Gandhi's faults were portrayed. Perhaps she thought the author set out to discredit Gandhi. Now that I have read the entire book and know more about Gandhi, I remain impressed with him. Yes, he managed his own public relations very well. Yes, he was more than quirk ...more
In South Africa Gandhi defended wealthy Indians and till much later he hardly supported the working Indian labourers but never supported the local African natives and thus portrays Gandhi as racially prejudiced. I find Gandhi an interesting person though I do not agree wi...more
Everyone knows who Mahatma Ghandi is.......the world-founder and father of the non-violent struggle for justice. I don't recall ever learning about Ghandi in school; I do recall Dr. Martin Luther King citing Ghandi as the basis for his leadership in non-violent struggle for human rights in America. It turns ...more
This is a very good read. Overall, Lelyveld does a fine job and presents a fresh historical view, not shying away from Gandhi's own admitted short comings and periods of self doubt. It's great that a glossary is provided for all of the Hindi words and phrases. I only needed to consult a dictionary a few times.
Gandhi always put his beliefs into action, especially near the end of his life. It's impossible to say how many lives he saved by nearly fasting to death himself. Nobody, which ever side ...more
On the strengths side of the figurative ledger, Mr. Lelyveld covers Gandhi's life in rich detail and, in the relaying of the facts of his life, does so faithfully. It ...more
The author's goal so far appears to be to put Gandhi's first-person memories in their proper context and time. Apparently Gandhi remembered certain things differently 10 years or more after the fact. Go figure. And many of his biographers apparently took the easy route and took his word for it. So Lelyveld is putting the record straight. Or straighter?
So what I get from this is that Gandhi ...more
The most revealing part of this book was his time in South Africa. Though it made a very dry reading I had never realised how essential that 20 years was in making Gandhi. It is interesting to read how this middle class orthodox Hindu who didn't have symp ...more
In terms of Gandhi, I am glad that this book shows that he sometime slipped too, sometime he could be a hypocrite too, just like the rest of us. I think the most int ...more
Next day he was shot by a Hindu extremist in chest and died with Rama’s name (allegedly) thus fulfilling the final act of his mahatma-ship. Mahatma Gandhi as he was called respectfully throughout the country and beyond fought all his life a ...more
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This b ...more
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