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Monday, 9 February 2015

Gandhi Before India

There have been a lot of books written on Gandhi. On his life, but mostly on the non-violence movement started by him. We have also read a lot on the Mahatma in school and college perhaps and yet there is very little we know about him as a person. Ramachandra Guha takes on a territory which he is most comfortable. He traces the life of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi before he became the Mahatma in his new book, “Gandhi before India”. “Gandhi before India” lets readers into the Gandhi that probably very few people knew of. The book focuses mainly on Gandhi’s early years in London and South Africa and how they shaped his ideologies and philosophy. The writing is stark and uncomplicated. It may not compel you to turn the pages, however it does give you space to mull and ponder between chapters about Gandhi and the great soul he ultimately turned out to be. A must read for all history and non-history buffs.

Gandhi Before India by Ramachandra Guha is a wonderfully written book on M. K.Gandhi before he became the greatest leader of India. This book describes those little-known experiences in the young Gandhi’s life that ultimately turned him into a Mahatma.
Summary Of The Book
There is no dearth for books on India’s greatest leader, Mahatma Gandhi, and probably, there is no one in the world who does not know the details of the life of the Mahatma. However, in penning Gandhi Before India, the author Ramachandra Guha goes into uncharted territory as this book throws light on the life of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, before he became a Mahatma.
Gandhi Before India, the first of a two-volume biography of Mahatma Gandhi, traces the life journey of M. K. Gandhi from 1869 to 1914. This is the time period that begins with the birth of the boy Mohandas, and ends with the return of the lawyer Gandhi to India after having carried out a successful revolution in South Africa.
What sets this book apart from many others on Mahatma Gandhi is the fact that it allows readers to take a peek into the life of the Gandhi that very few people have any knowledge about. By focusing on the childhood days of Gandhi and his two decades of stay in the African continent, the book gives insights into what experiences shaped the ideologies and philosophies that the Mahatma followed in his later life.
Essentially, Gandhi Before India by Ramachandra Guha paints a vivid picture of a young Gandhi. If the book speaks about his experiments with various cults and his friendships with those belonging to different religions, it also openly talks about his enemies, rivals and failures in life. The clarity and detailing with which Guha has presented little known facts about Gandhi show how deeply he has researched the subject to lay bare the truth in an uncomplicated manner.
Published in October 2013, Gandhi Before India is a must-read account of social history and biography for historians and everyone else who deeply respect the Mahatma. Although the writing is simple, there are portions in the book that compel the reader to ponder about the great soul, Gandhi.
About Ramachandra Guha
Born in 1958 in Dehra Dun, India, Ramachandra Guha is a well-known historian and author from India, who has written on a variety of subjects such as politics, environment and sports.
Guha’s other works include Makers of Modern India, Wickets in the East, Environmentalism: A Global History, Spin and Other Turns, and The States of Indian Cricket.
Guha has a Master’s degree in Economics from the Delhi School of Economics. Guha went on to earn a doctorate by researching on the Chipko Movement. Currently based in Bangalore, Guha taught in various universities spread across India, North America and England from 1985 to 2000. In 2011, Guha was appointed at the London School of Economics as the Philippe Roman Chair of International Affairs and History. Guha has been the recipient of several prestigious awards including the Padma Bhushan. The book, India After Gandhi, won him the 2011 Sahitya Akademi Award.

Product details

  • Binding:  Hardcover
  • Publisher: Allen Lane  
  • Language:  English
  • ISBN-10:  0670083879
  • ISBN-13: 9780670083879
  • Author: Ramachandra Guha
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