by Olivia Coolidge
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Hardcover, 278 pages
Not in stock

The books in this section are usually hardcover and in decent condition, though we'll sometimes offer hard-to-find books in lesser condition at a reduced price. Though we often put images of the book with their original dust jackets, the copies here won't always (or even often) have them. If that is important to you, please call ahead or say so in the order comments! 

To his people he was the Mahatma, or "Great Soul," and to the Western world he was the saint of non-violence. But Gandhi, like all saints, was a human being capable of rages, arrogance and error, and unlike other saints, he was living in a time when it was possible to record all this about him. From photographs, newspaper articles, pamphlets, and personal letters, a portrait of Gandhi emerges. But it is a portrait more interesting and powerful than that of a saint because it is of the whole man, showing his failures as well as his successes.

Gandhi was convinced that in all things the truth was simple, his truth, that is, and all one had to do was agree and follow. He devised an economic plan for India which defied Western civilization but was completely impractical. He had nothing but disdain for modern medicine, and yet insisted on giving his own sometimes unwelcome advice. He would compromise neither with British officials nor even with respected Indian politicians. He could not be swayed once he had perceived the right way to act on an issue.

But Gandhi's weaknesses in the economic and political spheres may have been a great part of his spiritual strength and his success as a Hindu reformer; for Gandhi, in his simple loincloth and sandals, communicated with the people and they loved him. Only he was capable of brining them together in a new India.

Nehru, addressing the Indian people after the assassination of Gandhi, spoke of him as "no ordinary light." And this is true, for although he was human, he was never ordinary. He was openly and obviously unique. He was a patriot, revolutionary, religious and social reformer, doctor, economist, statesman and politician, and as Nehru continued, "A thousand years later that light will still be seen in the country, and the world will see it, and it will give solace to innumerable hearts."

—from the dust jacket

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