The Essential Writings (Paperback)
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Mahatma Gandhi was a profound and original thinker, one of the most influential figures in the history of the twentieth century, and a famous advocate of non-violent civil resistance. His many and varied writings largely respond to the specific challenges he faced throughout his life, and they show his evolving ideas, as well as his deepening spirituality and humanity, over several decades. Drawn from the full range of Gandhi's published work--books, articles, broadcasts, interviews, letters--this superb selection illuminates his thinking on religion and spirituality, on society and its problems, on politics and British rule, and on non-violence and civil disobedience. The pieces are arranged to underscore Gandhi's belief that transformation in human life should be from the roots upwards, from the individual through to social and political relations. The Introduction by Judith Brown--a leading authority on Gandhi--provides a succinct account of his life and his ambiguous role in the Indian nationalist movement, examines what kind of thinker and writer Gandhi was, and shows how he built a coherent body of thought.
Gandhi was born into a prominent, deeply religious family of the merchant caste. He studied law in England, then spent 21 years in South Africa fighting the racial discrimination he encountered there. In South Africa, he developed many of the principles for which he is known: his belief in nonviolent protest for political and social gains, while maintaining a respect for the lives of others, and an interest in peace and equality between religions. Gandhi returned to India in 1915, and became active in the Indian National Congress. In 1930 he led the famous Dandi March, where a group of protestors went to the sea and Gandhi made salt in protest of the British tax on salt in India. He fought for independence and peace in his country, founding several newspapers, writing on various subjects, and establishing numerous ashrams and settlements, many of which have remained active through the 1990s. Gandhi had a profound influence on Indian politics from 1915 until his assassination by a right-wing Hindu in 1948.
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