Gandhi: The Years That Changed the World, 1914-1948
By Ramachandra Guha
This volume opens with Mohandas Gandhi’s arrival in Bombay in January 1915 and takes us through his epic struggles over the next three decades: to deliver India from British rule, to forge harmonious relations between India’s Hindu and Muslim populations, to end the pernicious Hindu practice of untouchability, and to develop India’s economic and moral self-reliance. We see how in each of these campaigns, Gandhi adapted methods of nonviolence–strikes, marches, fasts–that successfully challenged British authority, religious orthodoxy, social customs, and would influence non-violent, revolutionary movements throughout the world. In reconstructing Gandhi’s life and work, Ramachandra Guha has drawn on sixty different archival collections, the most significant among them, a previously unavailable collection of papers belonging to Gandhi himself. Using this wealth of material, Guha creates a portrait of Gandhi and of those closest to him–family, friends, political and social leaders–that illuminates the complexity inside his thinking, his motives, his actions and their outcomes as he engaged with every important aspect of social and public life in the India of his time.
I started editing most of the reviews in 2016 because my PhD in English (a humblebrag if you’ve ever seen one) has to be put to use somehow. So I know “the about” all the books and how good they are, which is super cool in general but also terrible for my budget. And I’m the one insisting on the Oxford comma. It’s the hill I’ll die on. I would kidnap Lily the office dog if a) I didn’t have three cats, b) I don’t also love Heidi and Ross and would never hurt them, and c) I didn’t just make a public record of intent to commit a crime. I also help with posting articles to the websites and doing book round-up articles.