Gandhi & Churchill
In this fascinating and meticulously researched book, bestselling historian Arthur Herman sheds new light on two of the most universally recognizable icons of the twentieth century, and reveals how their forty-year rivalry sealed the fate of India and the British Empire.
They were born worlds apart: Winston Churchill to Britain’s most glamorous aristocratic family, Mohandas...more
Below is the review I wrote after reading this book.
For those of you intimidating by reading History, I would encourage you to give it a chance. Yeah, history books are long, hundreds of pages; it at first appears that it can be dry. This is not the case when well written, and when reading History patience does have its rewards. Oh, now there might be a lot of names, places, dates and it might be tough to follow. Again if well written and presented, then it should be easy to follow, stay with it...more
It has been said of French president Clemenceau that he had one illusion, France, and one disillusion, mankind, including Frenchmen.
Arthur Herman, in his magisterial new dual biography, shows how the same could be said of his twin protagonists over India and Indians.
Churchill's illusion was that Britain could continue to hold on to the old British Raj, even after World War II and a bankrupt British treasury. His disillusion was rather a cyni...more
This book casts the protagonists as similar in...more
The book clearly reveals wh...more
I am no historian, or even a scholar who is well-versed in the material that this book concerns itself with. Therefore, this review is strictly a layman’s review.
Popular historian Arthur Herman in this book scripts parallel biographies of MK Gandhi and Winston Churchill, two titans of the last century, whose influence is indicated by their places as the runner-up to Person of the Century (1900 - 2000) and the Person of the Half Century (1900 – 1950) respectively by T...more
This was virtually my first exposure to either man, and my views on both certainly changed. While appearing to have done the...more
Arthur Herman writes a largely engaging account...more
Some themes I thought were overstated - the emphasis on Victorian values, and the influence of Sepoy Mutiny in three generations of British politics. Churchill's political life and Herman's coverage of it were abrupt and confusing, maybe He...more
I learned a lot from the book and hesitate to recommend it strongly to someone only because of its length. If there were an abridged version this would be the tim...more
What I learned from this book is how popular opinion can shape people's opinions of historical figures. We often get the filtered view and we really have to dig in a bit more and form our own opinions. Granted you are still reading an opinion, but there are facts and quotes that can't be denied.
I always thought Gandhi might be a good model for startin...more
Gandhi and Churchill were contemporaries. “Both men loved freedom and liberty but of two fundamentally different kinds.” They came to be the fiercest opponents over India...more
Two men, born five years and four thousand miles apart, meet once when both are unknown. Then they go their separate ways and become two of the most revered figures of the 20th century. From time to time they pass each other as they pass through history, each bent on his own course. otherwise they find very different destinies. One saves his country and secures victory in the greatest war th...more
A well researched and detailed book, but it gets bogged down at times with the minutiae of local politics and minor political figures who come and go. The psychology and personal backstories of the two historical greats held my interest more than...more
Subtle, understated facts about Churchill: the only British politcian of his time to immediately detect that Hitler was sinister, took a keen interest in racial science (he passed a bill for involuntary sterlization of the mentally ill - he did...more
The biggest message that I learned from this book is that their contributions were not necessarily positive, either one of them. People are fallible; great people are greatly fallible. Gandhi's campaigns, with the exception of perhaps the Salt Satyagraha, were almost exclusively failures (or at least, minor, ho-hum successes). This portion of the book could be consi...more