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Gandhi: His Life and Message for the World (Signet Classics (Paperback))

4.06  ·  Rating Details ·  1,831 Ratings  ·  141 Reviews
Ships from USA. Will take 25-35 days
Mass Market Paperback, 224 pages
Published November 2nd 2010 by Penguin Group (USA) Inc. (first published January 1st 1950)
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Feb 15, 2013 Kanika rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Miroku Nemeth
Jan 10, 2012 Miroku Nemeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Elliott Bignell
Apr 11, 2015 Elliott Bignell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I would like to avoid making this a review of Gandhi rather than of a book about Gandhi, but for the best possible reasons that is hard to do. The author knew Mohandas Gandhi personally, visited him repeatedly and, so far as I can ascertain, reflected his philosophy in this moving account as faithfully as still water. The book, in reading, seems to melt seamlessly into the Mahatma as if you were at his feet. There are three or five men whom I would call the greatest of the last century - Gandhi, ...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
Joseph Adelizzi, Jr.
Oct 29, 2011 Joseph Adelizzi, Jr. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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
Mikey B.
Nov 07, 2012 Mikey B. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, india
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
Apr 12, 2010 Stephanie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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.
Jun 04, 2008 Jared rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jan 08, 2015 Arafat rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had been planning to read about Gandhi for a very long time. Finally, I got hold of this book, which is written very well. However, the writer has compromised his status as a biographer in his bid to write about Gandhi. He has overlooked many events in Gandhi's life (esp. the paradoxical views of Gandhi in a lot of matters). Overall, the book is great as it makes you walk and talk with Gandhi in a virtual setting but lacks an incisive description of many aspects of Gandhi's life. Because of th ...more
Jul 16, 2014 Simon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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.
Apr 08, 2013 Travis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Simply put: One of the best books I have ever read.
The editorial description of the book went

"This is a biography of Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948). He led the fight for Indian independence from British rule, who tirelessly pursued a strategy of passive resistance, and who was assassinated by a Hindu fanatic only a few months after independence was achieved."

The editorial description is notable in light of facts of history that took place around independence of India - for one thing Gandhi desperately wished to visit the newly partitioned land of
Mar 03, 2017 Hannah rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Over all I am not too pleased with this book. I'm very interested in biography and and pretty anything in that category but when I started reading this book I knew it was a mistake. Even the beginning of the book was boring. I read the first 100 pages and didn't like it. The reason I read that many pages was I was waiting for the book to get interesting but frankly it didn't. It had very small print that hurt my eyes and along with that it was flat out boring. There wasn't any cool or interestin ...more
Mar 05, 2017 Susan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you're seeking a simple overview of Gandhi's life and work, this will do. I came away from the book with a good sense of his accomplishments (which were, of course, amazing). Fischer seems way too reverent, however; aside from his homeliness and subpar parenting skills, Gandhi comes across as perfect. I'd like to see a more balanced look at the man (if it exists -- maybe he actually WAS that flawless).
Mar 07, 2017 Dalton rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 28, 2017 Kristine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a primer biography for Gandhi, written in the 50s by a reporter who stayed w him on occasion. Organization is a bit weird, but if you're looking for something shorter than 300 pages, this is a good choice. All of the stars go mostly to Gandhi the man. The most surprising thing to me is that growing up Gandhi was an extremely shy introvert, prone to jealous and verbal outbursts in anger. He felt his emotions explosively and trained them thru iron will to become the man he was. The transfo ...more
Oct 24, 2012 Simon rated it liked it
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
Maryati Soewito
May 17, 2011 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
So far this year I have not finished a book. I am currently reading The Life of Mahatma Gandhi by Louis Fischer. It is about, obviously, the life of Mahatma Gandhi. Up to where I currently am in the book it had described Gandhi's childhood, teenage years, and young adulthood. During Gandhi's young adulthood, he traveled back and forth from Indiana and South Africa. In South Africa he fought for rights for the Indians living there and worked as a lawyer.

I am very interested in the life of Mahat
Jun 24, 2016 Shanth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating book indeed chronicling the incredible journey of Mahatma Gandhi who seems to have had a thoroughly jolly time questioning racial supremacy, imperial subjugation and most importantly of all the animal instinct of man. ( Not necessarily in any particular order )

At Yerwada he forces the Hindus to wake up to the horrors of the soul crushing caste subjugations they have been guilty of for centuries together. In late 1947 in Calcutta he was the only, the only, moral authority between re
Feb 05, 2013 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 02, 2015 Ryan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great read for anyone that is interested in catching a glimpse at the man referred to as the Mahatma. The author, Louis Fischer, has compiled together a series of interviews with leaders of India, Great Britain, and Pakistan, as well as interviews with Gandhi himself, to create an amazing insight into one of the world's most renown leaders. From Gandhi's early life to the fateful day that he was assassinated, Fischer does an amazing job of pulling highlights from Gandhi's attempt at pe ...more
Aide Acuna
Jul 17, 2012 Aide Acuna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Henrique Medina
Oct 30, 2013 Henrique Medina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 05, 2016 Branimir rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, biography
I am not very well acquainted with the history of India and Pakistan thus this book introduced a lot of totally new (for me) history. What it also did was shatter my perception of Gandhi as a totally spiritual figure. He was first and foremost a politician (in the good sense of the word) and his way of thinking was very logical and consistent with his beliefs.

The author is a contemporary of Gandhi and manages to reproduce the influence of the Mahatma on others and on the causes he devoted to. It
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Foreign correspondent and analyst of world affairs.

Fischer worked as an European correspondent first in Berlin later in the Soviet Union. The works he wrote during his stay in the Soviet Union are criticised for its apologism and the denial of the Ukraine famine.

Louis Fischer first visited Gandhi in 1942 and again in 1946.
More about Louis Fischer...

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