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Critical Comparative Book Review: Mahatma Gandhi: Nonviolent Liberator: A Biography and The Life of Mahatma Gandhi Research Paper


Deats, Richard L and Mary Jegen. Mahatma Gandhi: Nonviolent Liberator: A Biography. New York: New City Press, 2005.

The book is a well structured chronological assessment of Mohandas Gandhi’s life from his childhood as an aspiring lawyer up to his untimely death. The author symbolizes nonviolent movements and peaceful deeds. The book summarizes Mahatma’s life as follows; Gandhi founded several movements and groups.

He came up with a nonviolent resistance in one major movement, which he initiated to fight against the requirement to register all Indian immigrants. Gandhi’s movement had a huge following and helped to spread his visionary messages. The first diplomatic movement used by Gandhi led to his two-month imprisonment by Christian Smuts, a general based in South Africa. As an act of love, he made sandals for the general during his imprisonment. His movements received a remarkable attention all over the world, particularly Europe.

Gandhi returned back to India after 21 years in South Africa. He exhibited determination in his attempt to continue with the work he had started in India. This work was meant to eradicate the Caste system which was discriminating and regarded disadvantaged individuals as social misfits.

He also made attempts to restore peace among the Muslim and Hindu Indians. He led the famous Salt march as an assertion of defiance against England’s declaration of monopolizing salt production. In the book, the authors quote Louis Fischer, another famous biographer of Gandhi (Deats & Jegen 65).

Gandhi was succeeding in his war for independence using purely nonviolent ways. Most of the methods used by Gandhi to oppose discrimination were characterized by interventions such as fasting. The method worked to provoke negotiations with the opposing parties. Gandhi was assassinated in1948 by militants professing the Hindu religion. His assassination came after a fating session meant to protest against the conflict between Muslims and Hindu adherents.

The Hindus were infuriated by Gandhi’s actions and many of them considered him a traitor for sympathizing with their rivals, the Muslims. Gandhi’s legacy, compassion messages, nonviolent methods for demonstration, and quest for freedom have largely impacted the contemporary society. In the light of this, there has emerged movements using Gandhi’s principles and approaches to address discrimination and violation of human rights.

Through a concise and comprehensive biography, the authors of this book have revealed important points regarding the life of Gandhi. The book touches on important events in the life of Gandhi from his early years. These events were imperative in converting him into the legend that he finally became.

The authors excellently depict and emphasize principles founded by Gandhi. Furthermore, the authors have articulated philosophies preached and advocated by Gandhi. However, the book lacks a detailed explanation of how Gandhi manages to gather such a great multitude of followers. In the last pages, the book contains inspirational quotes from the great works of Gandhi. The authors of the book have effectively portrayed the nature of Gandhi’s love for the entire human populace.

Fischer, Louis. The Life of Mahatma Gandhi. New York: HarperCollins Publishers Limited, 1997.

The first biography of Mahatma Gandhi by Louis Fischer’s was published in the early 1950’s. The book is organized in short and simple to read chapters. The book starts with a revelation of the first days of Gandhi and describes his aspirations as a lawyer. It also reveals the life of Gandhi as an activist for human rights. This activism was meant to address the predicament of South African immigrants.

Next, the author takes us back to India, and discusses the beginning of the civil resistance movements led by Gandhi. Gandhi uses peaceful means to mobilize hundreds of thousands of Indians against oppression by the British Government. He links divisions between political, national, and religious affiliations. Because of this development many politicians sought out advice from him. It is hard to include the many interesting aspects that the author covers in the book review. These aspects have however been covered in the previous review.

The events in Gandhi’s life are extraordinary, but also real and this makes his great works readable. Fischer analyses the history of Indian immigrants, the occupation, and oppression of the British. He also addresses the conflicting prominent religions in India, that is, the Muslims and Hindus.

Furthermore, he addresses how internal disputes among the Indians delayed their quest for independence of their country. However, in their midst was a man who strongly believed in his people’s welfare and had unending faith in them. He had faith in his fellow countrymen to realize the mistakes and the horror of internal violence and oppression by foreigners. This is a biography of a truly great man whose beliefs are relevant today.

Louis Fischer bases his writing on Gandhi’s own autobiography and on interrogations of people who knew him. Fischer goes beyond the boundaries of a biographer in reading the aspirations and the mindset of Gandhi. He is so into Gandhi’s philosophy that his writing is clearly authentic.

The text may not be easy to read, but usually rewards the reader. Fischer provides a comprehensive background scenario of Mahatma Gandhi and his immediate environment. He also provides a timely account of Gandhi’s life message. The text is concise and compelling. He analyses Gandhi’s believe in God, his understanding, and how he adopted a nonviolent lifestyle. This book illuminates Gandhi’s philosophy on life and thinking for the betterment of the society.

Works Cited

Deats, Richard L and Mary Jegen. Mahatma Gandhi: Nonviolent Liberator: A Biography. New York: New City Press, 2005.

Fischer, Louis. The Life of Mahatma Gandhi. New York: HarperCollins Publishers Limited, 1997.

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IvyPanda. (2018, December 26). Critical Comparative Book Review: Mahatma Gandhi: Nonviolent Liberator: A Biography and The Life of Mahatma Gandhi. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/critical-comparative-book-review-mahatma-gandhi-nonviolent-liberator-a-biography-and-the-life-of-mahatma-gandhi/

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"Critical Comparative Book Review: Mahatma Gandhi: Nonviolent Liberator: A Biography and The Life of Mahatma Gandhi." IvyPanda, 26 Dec. 2018, ivypanda.com/essays/critical-comparative-book-review-mahatma-gandhi-nonviolent-liberator-a-biography-and-the-life-of-mahatma-gandhi/.

1. IvyPanda. "Critical Comparative Book Review: Mahatma Gandhi: Nonviolent Liberator: A Biography and The Life of Mahatma Gandhi." December 26, 2018. https://ivypanda.com/essays/critical-comparative-book-review-mahatma-gandhi-nonviolent-liberator-a-biography-and-the-life-of-mahatma-gandhi/.


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IvyPanda. "Critical Comparative Book Review: Mahatma Gandhi: Nonviolent Liberator: A Biography and The Life of Mahatma Gandhi." December 26, 2018. https://ivypanda.com/essays/critical-comparative-book-review-mahatma-gandhi-nonviolent-liberator-a-biography-and-the-life-of-mahatma-gandhi/.

References

IvyPanda. 2018. "Critical Comparative Book Review: Mahatma Gandhi: Nonviolent Liberator: A Biography and The Life of Mahatma Gandhi." December 26, 2018. https://ivypanda.com/essays/critical-comparative-book-review-mahatma-gandhi-nonviolent-liberator-a-biography-and-the-life-of-mahatma-gandhi/.

References

IvyPanda. (2018) 'Critical Comparative Book Review: Mahatma Gandhi: Nonviolent Liberator: A Biography and The Life of Mahatma Gandhi'. 26 December.

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