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Gandhi: His Life and Message for the World

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  1,216 ratings  ·  105 reviews
This is the extraordinary story of how one man's indomitable spirit inspired a nation to triumph over tyranny. This is the story of Mahatma Gandhi, a man who owned nothing-and gained everything.

Paperback, 224 pages
Published November 2nd 2010 by Penguin Group (USA) Inc. (first published 1950)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,543)
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As I turned the last page of Gandhi: His Life and Message for the World, I felt like I should say to it, “It’s not you. It’s me.”

The fact is, I had a hard time reading this book. This is one of those books that is better than my rating would indicate. My own personal issues prevented me from fully enjoying the book.

More than anything else, I think my problems stem from Louis Fischer’s writing style, not from his subject matter. Perhaps biography writing styles were different in 1954 when this w...more
Miroku Nemeth
Gandhi was a hero of my first teacher, my mother, and in reading this book, I now see that much of how she strove to raise me came from his example and teaching. I read a biography of the "Gandhi of the Frontier" Badshah Khan two days ago, and bought this book last night and read it in its entirety today because the example of the Muslim Pashtun leader who created a non-violent uniformed army of 100,000 Pashtun and his love and respect for Gandhi touched me deeply. As a Muslim who is tired of th...more
I just finished reading ‘The Life of Mahatma Gandhi’ by Louis Fischer and one word that can describe my feeling at the moment is awe. We were taught in school about India’s history, about our freedom struggle, about our fearless leaders and their countless sacrifices. We studied the contributions of leaders like Gandhi, Nehru, Patel, Ambedkar, Lajpat Rai et al to our struggle for independence, but as we grow up and become enmeshed in the humdrum of our daily activities, these names begin to have...more
Men and women and children knew, or felt, that when Gandhi fell by the assassin’s three bullets the conscience of mankind had been left without a spokesman.

Louis Fischer clearly loved Mahatma Gandhi. An entire nation loved him. How could such a tiny little man impress the world in such a way? Before I read this book I knew next to nothing about him. Only that he had strange diet practices (“Many such experiments taught me that the real seat of taste was not in the tongue but in the mind,”) was...more
Joe Adelizzi
Admittedly I have a very poor memory. I read books and then what seems like just minutes later most of the information which had so thoroughly engrossed me is erased from my mind. However, Louis Fischer's book and, more so, Gandhi's life so captivatingly described therein, contains scenes, sayings, concepts, and descriptions which I'm sure will stay with me forever:

“In the midst of death life persists, in the midst of untruth truth persists, in the midst of darkness light persists.”
“Nor coul...more
Lisa Butterworth
I Overall I really enjoyed this book, but I wish it would have been a little more linear (or something). I am glad to understand Gandhi and his life and philosophy better. I'm interested to read another biography now, from a more er. . historical perspective.
I have to admit that it took me three tries to finish this book. I think I started it at least two years ago. The first two times I got about 100 pages in and lost steam. The content was mostly interesting, but I was getting bogged down by a lot of the political details. I started over once again from the beginning, convinced that reading this biography would be "good for me." This time, after about 200 pages, I couldn't get myself to read anything else until I finished.

Gandhi has to be one of t...more
Concise and elegantly written biography of the man George C. Marshall pertinently described as the ‘spokesman for the conscience of mankind’. Two things in particular strike me about the man, and one thing about the book. Firstly, that Gandhi’s profound humility enabled him to be endlessly flexible in his politics, from his positions on social issues to his strategies in high politics. For example, as a young man he would not attend inter-caste weddings, let alone out-caste weddings involving ‘u...more
Mikey B.
Gandhi is a Great of the 20th century. This book is more personal as the author had met Gandhi – its focus is on Gandhi the man. It cites his speeches and how Gandhi influenced events around him. Gandhi was a doer and the method and means were everything.

Compare Gandhi with the rise of communism (Lenin-Stalin) of the same time period and there is no doubt who and which approach is the more admirable and humane. Marxism-Leninism led to the death of millions.

The book describes many aspects of not...more
This is the type of book that had a lot of potential. What ruined the book for me was Fisher's writing style. Throughout the entire book, Fisher idolizes Gandhi. There is not one passage of criticism which is unusual considering that Gandhi can be a controversial figure. His blatant worship of Gandhi made me highly critical of his telling of Gandhi. Another thing that made me highly critical was his lack of citations. Fisher reports that he spent a total of four weeks with Gandhi before his deat...more
Although I was not very fond of the last half or so of the book, the first part in which Ghandi's philosophies and beliefs were explained intrigued me. The story of Ghandi and all his inspiring achievements is a truly riveting tale of devotion and real faith, which is something rarely seen today. Greed, desire, corruption.... none of these things penetrated the seemingly invincible barrier that was built in his highly disciplined mind. He had unbending faith in both himself and in his countrymen...more
Simply put: One of the best books I have ever read.
Occasionally there comes along a person who can captivate the hearts and minds of the people around him. Rarely does someone come along that can captivate an entire country. Rarer still a person who can capture the attention of the world. Mahatma Gandhi appears to be one of the latter.
I was intrigued when I picked up Louis Fischer's Gandhi: His Life and Message for the World. I knew next to nothing about Mahatma Gandhi, and was interested in reading a biography with an unbiased view - no pre-con...more
Henrique Medina
Louis Fisher nos trae una excelente Biografía de Mohandas Karamschad Gandhi que atípica mente comienza en el final de su vida, la pérdida de este humilde y sencillo hombre que es referencia en la historia universal, pasando por su niñez, su juventud y sus estudios de Derecho en Londres, sus primeros años de abogado en Suráfrica y su lucha por los derechos humanos de los inmigrantes indios que eran tratados por los ingleses y los Boers como esclavos y mano de obra barata. Su regreso a la India y...more
Although this biography is a bit of a timepiece, the writing often rises to poetic levels as the author captures Gandhi's beliefs, words, and actions. Written in 1954, the author knew Gandhi personally and clearly was overwhelmingly impressed with the Mahatma, or Great Soul. If one is comfortable with the occasional gushing by the author, the reader can readily gain an overall understanding of Gandhi, his beliefs and values and how dramatically he shaped his nation. By seeking to simply his life...more
My only knowledge of Gandhi before reading this book was based on what I had heard by word of mouth, or read in a few paragraphs of a history book. Gandhi: His Life & Message for the World, was an excellent book to introduce me to such a historical figure. Louis Fischer did not attempt to influence readers to feel a certain way about Gandhi, and he did not seek to glorify him or re-write history.

In many biographies about great people, they are depicted as pleasant and
wonderful children. They...more
Aide Acuna
Main characters: Gandhi and his people
Setting: India
Point of View: Narrator

Plot: This biography tells us the life of Gandhi. He was a very courageous man who fought with no violence. He told his people to fight with no fists rather with their non- violent actions. Gandhi often led different marches or simply do sit-ins. He never used hurtful words. I believe Gandhi was an extremely interesting person as he fasted many for many periods of his life as a political statement. Gandhi was considered t...more
Maryati Soewito
Dec 19, 2012 Maryati Soewito is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Dari hal 315:

Tahun 1926 adalah tahun diam. Silent year. 52 Senin Gandhi tak bicara. Hanya kadang menjawab dengan tulisan saat wawancara dan melakukan korespondensi. Dia ingin jeda sehari saja dalam sepekan. Itu dia lakukan karena pernah merasa tercabik menjadi potongan karena harus melakukan banyak perjalanan dan banyak bicara.

Pada masa ini Gandhi masih dalam usaha mencari solusi perselisihan Muslim dan Hindu. Menurut dia, resepnya adalah perlakuan lebih baik mayoritas Hindu kepada minoritas Mus...more
For a 620-page book on Indian politics this is remarkably readable. It's also pretty even-handed and gives a good idea of the man as well as the Mahatma. Fischer doesn't gloss over some of Gandhi's less appealing aspects (his relationships with his own sons, for example), but you can see why he inspired a devoted following. What mainly come through are his compassion and determination.
I like the way Fischer handles the ending, too.
This biography traces the development of the man who became a founding father for modern day India.

The life of Ghandai,from childhood through to his death is examined using a twin track approach.

First is the fleshing out of the person and his journey through life.

Second, the broader context of Ghandai's effect on the political life and fortunes of his country during his life time is layed down and entwined with his journey through life.

The character study is well rounded, we get a sense of be...more
Rahul Khanna
I am not wise enough to write a review of a book which is a biography M.K Gandhi. Nevertheless i will write a very compelling line from this book

Mountbatten told the royal empire society on 6 October, 1948, that in India Gandhi 'was not compared with some great statesman like Roosevelt or Churchill. They classified him simply in their minds with Mohammed and Christ'.Millions adored the Mahatma, multitudes tries to kiss his feet or the dust of his footsteps. They paid him homage and rejected his...more
learn english

Satyagra: besteht aus einer ständig wohlwollenden Wechselwirkung zwischen den beiden Parteien mit dem Ziel einer Versöhnung ohne vorhergehenden Kampf.

We power up the powerfull, because we are at odds with each other.

To get to an own opinion by understanding and intellect,is what distinguishes us from all forms of living beings.

Seperation gives birth to hate and force in thoughts and acts.

What is possible 4 one, is possible 4 everybody.

The atom reflects the univers. If everybody woul...more
Rose Fuller
I think this book is good. Its a detailed account of Gandhi's life, politics and beliefs. I was drawn to it because I wanted to know more about India, Hinduism and religious vegetarianism. I was not as interested in Gandhi's politics and more so his spirituality. This book focuses on his politics and political actions. I later discovered from the founder of ISKCON in one of his writings that in his opinion Gandhi was not as observant as he should have been as a Hindu. Gandhi used ahimsha the Bud...more
This hagiographical book explicitly states that it's the foundation on which the movie was based. I agree that it's preachy (hagiographies tend to be), and I think it understates the complexity of the man, and especially his ironic sense of humor.

There are several issues I disagree with Gandhi on, but they're mostly technical issues (I think, for example, that it's not technology but the predispositions of technologists that are the most harmful). I would recommend the book as a primer, but onl...more
Sep 13, 2007 Partha rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: a balanced picture about the man who has been grossly mis understood by our country men
Shelves: lifeinfluencers
Louis Fischer's work is a masterpiece and I would say the best ever biography i have ever read..
the depth, the balanced view on the subject and the simplicity of the prose thats so reflective of the man..being portrayed by him..

This was one book that made huge impact in my college days..
Infact this was a tipping point for me in terms of how i wanted to lead my life from then on..

Louis Fischer has truly portrayed the man as he is..
simple yet enigmatic, idealistic yet pragmatic..
and of course
I have learned a lot about Mr. Gandhi from this treatise and my curiosity to read about his life & philosophy in his own words has now been piqued. It is a honour and privilege to know about this great human being that once tread this world, which he is a citizen of and India is lucky to have been graced and blessed with this soul.

Fischer has replicated and paraphrased a lot in this text from various sources including the autobiography and has added in good measure his own opinions & inf...more
this book has changed me! LOVE IT!! I would recommend it to everyone! Very powerful! Ghandi is brilliant! I learned so much! I am definitely going to read it again, too! I am pretty stingy with my stars, but this definitely qualifies for all 5 and more if I could! I am hopeful that I will never be the same person after reading this book....It makes me want to do and be better and to help others do the same. It helped me think so much more globally and outside of myself & my culture. Ghandi i...more
Awdhesh Singh
This biography of Gandhi is quite good showing the personality of Gandhi, which is not known to people generally. You enjoy reading this book and also learn history of his time.
Other reviews mentioned this author's strange writing style...I wholeheartedly agree with them on that one. I was confused so many times when the author was trying to fit in quotes that just didn't work into the writing. I enjoyed learning some things about Gandhi, but I felt like this book was much more about the history of India's and Britain's politics than about Gandhi's philosophies. Obviously Gandhi had a great influence on politics, but I wanted to know more about Gandhi as a person.
Samyuktha jayaprakash
I have been reading this book for a very long time now.
So long that, it feels like a part of me. When i closed the last page i felt empty :/
Life of a man who led by example , who admitted his mistakes shamelessly. A tragic end.
Maybe if he lived for 125 yrs as he said, India would be different :D
I loved the way louis fischer has comprehensively provided a background scenario of gandhi and his immediate surroundings.
We get a slice of his age. A yummy one :P
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