Gandhi Before India The first volume of a magisterial biography the definitive portrait of the life and work of one of the most abidingly influential and controversial men in modern history Here is a revelatory work of b

  • Title: Gandhi Before India
  • Author: Ramachandra Guha
  • ISBN: 9780307357922
  • Page: 471
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The first volume of a magisterial biography the definitive portrait of the life and work of one of the most abidingly influential and controversial men in modern history Here is a revelatory work of biography that takes us from Gandhi s birth in 1869 through his upbringing in Gujarat, his 2 years as a student in London, and his 2 decades as a lawyer and communityThe first volume of a magisterial biography the definitive portrait of the life and work of one of the most abidingly influential and controversial men in modern history Here is a revelatory work of biography that takes us from Gandhi s birth in 1869 through his upbringing in Gujarat, his 2 years as a student in London, and his 2 decades as a lawyer and community organizer in South Africa Ramachandra Guha has uncovered a myriad of previously untapped documents, including private papers of Gandhi s contemporaries and co workers contemporary newspapers and court documents the writings of Gandhi s children secret files kept by British Empire functionaries Using this wealth of material in a brilliantly nuanced narrative, Guha describes the social, political and personal worlds in which Gandhi began his journey to become the modern era s most important and influential political actor And Guha makes clear that Gandhi s work in South Africa far from being a mere prelude to his accomplishments in India was profoundly influential on his evolution as a political thinker, social reformer and beloved leader.

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      Published :2019-01-18T14:54:23+00:00

    One thought on “Gandhi Before India”

    1. Gandhi. Mahatma Gandhi. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. Who was Gandhi? Was he just a movement? Or was there more to him? Was there ever more to him as a person? What was he like before he started the revolution of such a kind that inspired millions to follow him? How did he get there? Who was Gandhi the man? Such questions always cropped in my mind in school.There was always this chapter on the Mahatma in school and yet we never tried to know more about the man. He was always an enigma. Maybe becau [...]

    2. A great start to the year with two wonderful works of non-fiction by two authors who I am privileged to have met. Indeed they both lunched in our house in Chennai on the same day. William Dalrymple's masterly Return of a King I have already reviewed. Ram Guha's Gandhi before India is also a beautifully written book, and the result of deep research into archives ignored by others. It is fascinating to learn of Gandhi's progress from indifferent student to Mahatma, his time in the UK and in South [...]

    3. This book is a detailed chronicle of Mahatma Gandhi's life in the early years. Gandhi spent 20 years working in South Africa trying to negotiate basic rights for his people. Around the year 1900, there was a large population of Indians in South Africa. Many of them came as indentured servants, but there was also a middle class that provided goods and services to the Indian community. Gandhi was trained in London to be a lawyer, and his original goal was to work in this profession in India itself [...]

    4. I was hesitant to buy this book because I was skeptical as to what more that is new can be written about Mahatma Gandhi. After all, the Govt of India had published 100 volumes of his collected works after nearly 40 years of sustained effort in assembling them. Still, the title kindled my interest because I realized that I know little about Gandhi's first 45 years of life, which were spent substantially outside India. In fact, for most of us in India, the window into Gandhi's life before he came [...]

    5. A young London-returned Gujarati lawyer finds little luck establishing a practice in the Bombay High Court. He is called to South Africa by Muslim merchants there, to help with one case. He finds his services so much in demand there that he decides to stay a little longer. His work brings him in contact with people from all strata of society --- plantation workers, Jewish intellectuals, missionaries, politicians, feminists. He displays an extraordinary talent for deep life-changing friendships w [...]

    6. வழக்கறிஞராய் போனவர் மகாத்மவாய் திரும்பிய வரலாறு.இந்தியர்களைப் பொறுத்தவரை தாங்கள் விரும்பும்/மதிக்கும் மனிதர்களை, புனிதர்களாக உயர்த்தி அவர்களைச் சுற்றி ஒரு புனித பிம்பத்தைக் கட்டிய [...]

    7. The making of the Mahatma and his time tested methods of passive resistance are usually the missing chapters in any popular biography or biofilm of the Father of the Nation. This book takes us through the many stages in the life of M K Gandhi, who evolves through chapters from a shy student to a cosmopolitan vegetarian to a failed lawyer to a Hindu Pluralist and eventually becoming the champion of the Indian cause in colonial South Africa. Many thanks to Guha, who whether by magic or mastership [...]

    8. I don't know a lot about Gandhi. All I know about him comes from pop-cultural osmosis (like Richard Attenborough's Gandhi), or the smattering I picked up in high school. This delightful biography by Ramachandra Guha eschews the typical 'skip to India' philosophies taken towards Gandhi's life. It encompasses Gandhi's birth and early life and ends in 1915, before Gandhi returned to India. Those desirous of a complete narrative will have to wait for the promised sequel volume.Guha sets out to provi [...]

    9. Dedication and commitment on the part of any author becomes quite evident by judging the amount of research and hard-work that went into his/her work. And if Gandhi Before India (GBI, henceforth) is any evidence, Ramchandra Guha's exertions shine out throughout the book, on every page and every paragraph. GBI is the first biographical text that I've completed in full, and second biographical text I've attempted to read (the first one being Swami Vivekanand's in my early school days, which I coul [...]

    10. Excellent book. Good way to write and read history. Especially to show how the character evolves over 25 years. Gandhi's social identity, how it evolves, how he learns, and the impact it has on the community is laid out threadbare. Event to event, instance to instance. But, his religious core doesn't receive such a focus, one feels. So, while one appreciates the swiftness and the moral strength with which Gandhi responds to a situation, and how that helps the community take to the cause with gre [...]

    11. I enjoyed reading Gandhi Before India, though I wish that he had taken up cause with the Africans too. I look forward to reading about the other people he got to know during his time in South Africa.

    12. Excellent work again by the author. Very exhaustive and gives a clear insight into formation of a Mahatama with flaws as well as merits covered. Too detailed though.A must read for anyone who want to understand GandhiJi.

    13. As can be expected of Guha, this book is a thorough and unprecedented study of the transformation of Gandhi from a city-bred lawyer to a nonconformist civil rights leader in South Africa. The book builds his story chronologically from his birth to his final departure from South Africa using contemporary records - letters to and by him, news articles written about or by him, various petitions, and the views expressed by various leaders and intellectuals on either side of the debate. The book read [...]

    14. This magnum opus by Ramachandra Guha , the first of the two books on the Life of Gandhi is a truly amazing book on Gandhi.I have read a fair share of books on Gandhi notably Louis Fischer book on Gandhi, controversial book Great Soul which mischievously suggested that Gandhi could have been Gay. This book stands out for its truly remarkable and objective treatment on the early life of Gandhi in South Africa.It gloriously captures the travel of how Gandhi from a orthodox Hindu background overcome [...]

    15. A brilliant portrayal of one of the world’s greatest thinker, non-violent practitioner and leaderMany of us have criticized Gandhi (and his protégé Nehru) for his inept handling of Hindu-Muslim unity, sidelining other prominent leaders of his time and constantly seeking a compromise with the British thus delaying the much anticipated “swaraj” by many years. What most of the people don’t get right is that only because of the methods of non-violence adopted by the Mahatma, India could fu [...]

    16. Undoubtedly one of the finest works by Mr Guha. I had heard and read a lot about Gandhiji's Work in Indian independence and his movements and experiments in India, but so far wasn't much aware of the 2 decades he spent in South Africa. Very few writers have thrown a light on this crucial part of his life. He wouldn't have been what he became later on if he hadn't learnt in all in South Africa and it was a pleasure to read about Gandhiji's experiments, successes, failures and frustrations in Sout [...]

    17. The book shows the journey of a shy, confused, diet-obsessed middle aged barrister into a leader, social reformer and a self taught Nathuropathy doctor. I cannot actually believe that such a man existed. He was loved by everyone he touched and He loved everyone he met. I wonder how he had such great capacity to love everyone. The book also talks about his strained relations with his sons and wife. It shows that just like everyone Gandhi had problems every human has but the way he dealt with them [...]

    18. If I had to rate only the effort taken to research for the book, I would have given 5/5. However, it is this extensive research that has ultimately become a handicap for the book with so much promise. The sheer volume of material available with Mr Guha and difficulty in pruning it has resulted in a book that is too lengthy. I thought quite a few paragraphs / letters etc could have been avoided or kept as additional read at the end without sacrificing the narrative. Barring this one lacuna, a bri [...]

    19. The history of mankind, if one skims through, is merely a repetitive record of the events of violence that one perpetrates upon the other. Each era is punctuated with the leaders who defined the course of such events. The garb of nationalism and other paraphernalia associated with it are merely the tools in the hands of these leaders to gather the masses behind them. It was not until the arrival of Gandhi that morality of neither those tools nor the end that is sought to be achieved mattered muc [...]

    20. Well researched and balanced penning of a man of such a stature as M.K. Gandhi. I liked the attention given to incidents which highlight the flip side of coin, which is often buried by other over zealous narrators. Written in a very mellow form, it is a good read which gives a highly concentrated dose of information from diverse sources.

    21. Ramchandra Guha's best work.Immaculately researched, with clear prose and a unflinching commitment to do justice to Gandhi.This is a book that makes you know Gandhi, the man, the son. the husband, the friend and finally the father, Deeply personal and beautifully written, this may be one of the most important books on Early Gandhi.Eagerly waiting for part 2.

    22. I learned a lot about the man and the politics of his day. But a lot of things were repeated from different view points over a few chapters. Could be more concise unless this was meant as a text book vs for a layman looking for more knowledge.

    23. Details the Life of Mahatma as He travelled between India, Britain, & South Africa to fight for the rights of the Indian lowerclass serving under the British.

    24. You have us a Lawyer and we gave you the Mahatma, So true. The land which actually made Gandhi. Great book to read

    25. My roommate asked me, whats the point of read this book. She didnt know that what I read is a peace. Human peace.

    26. Gandhi Before India is a seminal work on the political career of Mohandas Gandhi long before he went on to become a mass leader or earn the title of Mahatma.The book brief recounts the early life of Gandhi in Porbandar, the time he spent in Britain, followed by the short time he spent after his return to India and the circumstances that led to his taking up an assignment in South Africa as a struggling 24 year old barrister in 1893.The book then recounts how Gandhi, who went to plead the case of [...]

    27. Ever watch a director's cut of a movie you love only to realize that you don't like the movie all that much in this form, and that the edited theatrical version is far better.Gandhi Before India is that director's cut edition. So many unneeded details and so much information about so many nonsensical things (e.g. detailing the physical layout of a temporary dwelling). Throw in hundreds of characters and you've got a dizzying book that is a wonderful starter piece for someone doing their PhD on G [...]

    28. It was interesting, to say the least. I like how thoroughly-researched this book is. Next stop, Gandhi's collected works' 5 volumes that I have from Sabarmati Ashram. Actually, no, the immediate next is Katherine Frank's Indira (or Bill Bryson's A Brief History of Nearly Everything), but those too, soon. I've skimmed through them and read random parts several times; this book makes me want to read them all properly, right away. As I mentioned already, Gandhi Before India is interesting. It sheds [...]

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