Gandhi Before India

Publisher: Vintage Canada
The first volume of a magisterial biography: the definitive portrait of the life and work of one of the most abidingly influential--and controversial--men in modern history.
     Here is a revelatory work of biography that takes us from Gandhi's birth in 1869 through his upbringing in Gujarat, his two years as a student in London, and his two decades as a lawyer and community organizer in South Africa. Ramachandra Guha has uncovered a myriad of previously untapped documents, including: private papers of Gandhi's contemporaries and co-workers; contemporary newspapers and court documents; the writings of Gandhi's children; and secret files kept by British Empire functionaries. Using this wealth of material in a brilliantly nuanced narrative, Guha describes the social, political and personal worlds in which Gandhi began his journey to become the modern era's most important and influential political actor. And Guha makes clear that Gandhi's work in South Africa--far from being a mere prelude to his accomplishments in India--was profoundly influential on his evolution as a political thinker, social reformer and beloved leader.

PRAISE FOR

Praise for Gandhi Before India:

   • "Compellingly readable. . . . Vividly described. . . . Guha has an enviable capacity to bring the past to life." Winnipeg Free Press 

   • "Guha is a brilliant historian who combines the gift of a storyteller, the discipline of an academic and the critical ability of seeing Gandhi as a fascinating human being, by not placing him on a pedestal." San Francisco Chronicle 

   • "Gandhi Before India is of great value. It is substantial enough to be comprehensive, yet concise enough to be approachable by the general reader; sharp, insightful, balanced, and impeccably researched." The Times