Wolpert, Stanley A.
Adult Nonfiction DS481.G3 W64 2001
Summary: Mahatma Gandhi, through his indomitable will and selfless determination, transformed himself into a model of courage and integrity for India's people to emulate in their nonviolent struggle for political power. More than half a century after his death, Gandhi continues to inspire millions throughout the world. Yet modern India seems to have abandoned much of his nonviolent vision, joining the nuclear arms race. Inspired by recent events in India, Stanley Wolpert offers this subtle and profound biography of India's "Great Soul." Wolpert compellingly chronicles the life of Mahatma Gandhi from his early days as a child of privilege to his humble rise to power and his assassination at the hands of a man of his own faith. This trajectory, like that of Christ, was the result of Gandhi's passion: his conscious courting of suffering as the means of reaching divine truth. From his early campaigns to end discrimination in South Africa to his leadership of a people's revolution to end the British imperial domination of India, Gandhi emerges as a man of inner conflicts conquered by his political genius and moral vision. Early influenced by nonviolent teachings in Hinduism, Jainism, Christianity, and Buddhism, he came to insist on the primacy of love for one's adversary in any conflict as the invincible power for change. He fearlessly courted suffering and imprisonment in pursuit of his moral vision. The sweet reasonableness of his "Great Soul," combined with the steel of his unyielding opposition to intolerance and oppression, would inspire India like no leader since the Buddha--creating a legacy that would encourage Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela, and other global leaders to demand a better world through peaceful civil disobedience. Gandhi's Passionis a remarkable tribute by a historian at the height of his narrative and analytical powers. Wolpert boldly considers Gandhi the man, rather than the living god depicted by his disciples. He thus provides an unprecedented representation of Gandhi's passionate personality and the profound complexities that compelled his actions and brought freedom to India.
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