Essential Writings

ISBN-10: 019280720X

ISBN-13: 9780192807205

Edition: 2008

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Description: 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.

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Book details

List price: $19.95
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 5/11/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 480
Size: 5.00" wide x 8.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.990
Language: English

Mohandas Gandhi is well known as a political activist and pacifist who played a key role in achieving India's independence from Great Britain. Although born in Porbandar, India, to parents of the Vaisya (merchant) caste, he was given a modern education and eventually studied law in London. After returning briefly to India, Gandhi went to South Africa in 1893, where he spent the next 20 years working to secure Indian rights. It was during this time that he experimented with and developed his basic philosophy of life. Philosophically, Gandhi is best known for his ideas of satyagraha (truth-force) and ahimsa (nonharming). Intrinsic to the idea of truth-force is the correlation between truth and being; truth is not merely a mental correspondence with reality but a mode of existence. Hence, the power of the truth is not what one argues for but what one is. He developed this idea in conjunction with the principle of nonviolence, showing in his nationalist activities that the force of truth, expressed nonviolently, can be an irresistible political weapon against intolerance, racism, and social violence. Although his basic terminology and conceptual context were Hindu, Gandhi was impressed by the universal religious emphasis on the self-transformative power of love, drawing his inspiration from Christianity, Western philosophy, and Islam as well.

Gandhi, his mission, and the influences on him
Gandhi reflects on himself
Gandhis acknowledges the major influences on him
Authentic human life and the transformation of the individual
The truly human life
The search for God
True religion and particular religious traditions
Seeking truth through non-violence, self-discipline, and service
Transforming societies
Creating moral societies
Ashrams - centres of personal and social transformation
India under British rule: making a new nation
Understanding swaraj
Making swaraj - the Constructive Programme
Making swaraj - key issues
Non-violence as political action
The birth of non-violent action
The essence of satyagraha
Appropriate behaviour for satyagrahis
Tactics and dilemmas in satyagraha
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