Gandhi: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) Info

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Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948) was one of the few men in
history to fight simultaneously on moral, religious, political, social,
economic, and cultural fronts. During his time as a lawyer in South
Africa he developed his strategy of non-violence: the idea of opposing
unjust laws by non-violent protest. He led the Indian National Congress
party in three major campaigns against British rule, each culminating in
his arrest.
In Gandhi, a short introduction to Gandhi's
life and thought, Bhikhu Parekh outlines both Gandhi's major
philosophical insights and the limitations of his thought. Written with
extensive access to Gandhi's writings in Indian languages to which most
commentators have little or no access, Parekh looks at Gandhi's
cosmocentric anthropology, his spiritual view of politics, and his
theories of oppression, non-violent action, and active citizenship. He
also considers how the success of Gandhi's principles were limited by
his lack of coherent theories of evil, and of state and power. Gandhi's
view of man as ascetic allows no room for expressions of the cultural,
artistic, or intellectual. Furthermore, he was so hostile to modern
civilization that he was unable to appreciate its complex dialectic or
offer a meaningful narrative.
Nevertheless, Gandhi's life and
thought had an enormous impact on the Indian nation, and he continues to
be widely revered--known before and after his assassination as Mahatma,
the Great Soul.

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Reviews for Gandhi: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions):

4

Jun 01, 2016

Gandhi: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions #37), Bhikhu C. Parekh
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948) was one of the few men in history to fight simultaneously on moral, religious, political, social, economic, and cultural fronts. During his time as a lawyer in South Africa he developed his strategy of non-violence: the idea of opposing unjust laws by non-violent protest. He led the Indian National Congress party in three major campaigns against British rule, each culminating Gandhi: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions #37), Bhikhu C. Parekh
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948) was one of the few men in history to fight simultaneously on moral, religious, political, social, economic, and cultural fronts. During his time as a lawyer in South Africa he developed his strategy of non-violence: the idea of opposing unjust laws by non-violent protest. He led the Indian National Congress party in three major campaigns against British rule, each culminating in his arrest.
In Gandhi, a short introduction to Gandhi's life and thought, Bhikhu Parekh outlines both Gandhi's major philosophical insights and the limitations of his thought. Written with extensive access to Gandhi's writings in Indian languages to which most commentators have little or no access, Parekh looks at Gandhi's cosmocentric anthropology, his spiritual view of politics, and his theories of oppression, non-violent action, and active citizenship. He also considers how the success of Gandhi's principles were limited by his lack of coherent theories of evil, and of state and power. Gandhi's view of man as ascetic allows no room for expressions of the cultural, artistic, or intellectual. Furthermore, he was so hostile to modern civilization that he was unable to appreciate its complex dialectic or offer a meaningful narrative.
Nevertheless, Gandhi's life and thought had an enormous impact on the Indian nation, and he continues to be widely revered--known before and after his assassination as Mahatma, the Great Soul.
Gandhi: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford Paperbacks. 2001.
Chapter 1: Life and work
Chapter 2: Religious thought
Chapter 3: Human nature
Chapter 4: Satyāgraha
Chapter 5: Critique of modernity
Chapter 6: The vision of a non-violent society
Chapter 7: Critical appreciation
تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز چهاردهم ماه ژوئن سال 2009 میلادی
عنوان: گاندی: مختصر و مفید؛ نویسنده: بیکهو سی. پارخ؛
ا. شربیانی ...more
4

May 16, 2019

Gandhi: A Very Short Introduction reflects on the life of one who was as revolutionary and spiritual as he was provocative and abrasive to the status quo. The book is split up into mainly three categories: Gandhis view on religion, his view on human nature, and his view on politics. The book dives mostly into his view on politics and how he became the first politically significant figure who achieved the freedom of his people through non-violent means. His detractors say that he, hindered the Gandhi: A Very Short Introduction reflects on the life of one who was as revolutionary and spiritual as he was provocative and abrasive to the status quo. The book is split up into mainly three categories: Gandhi’s view on religion, his view on human nature, and his view on politics. The book dives mostly into his view on politics and how he became the first politically significant figure who achieved the freedom of his people through non-violent means. His detractors say that he, “hindered the development of radical political movements…burdened the Indian psyche with a sense of guilt about economic development…and perpetuated unrealistic ideas about human sexuality” (p. 111). His admirers vehemently oppose such claims and say that he, “was a man of both thought and action….he discovered a uniquely moral method of political change…and offered a rare example of morally responsible leadership” (p. 111). I was personally moved by much of what I learned about Gandhi even though there were most certainly aspects of his ideas that I disagree with. I was most moved by what he said regarding law and how it should be neither partisan in nature, nor discriminatory to any race, gender, or religious persuasion. It made me think about how a man of such integrity is needed in our current political climate here in America. I also want to strive to be that true to my personal views and ideas. Gandhi was a man who despite shortcomings that plague all creatures, was without guile and strove to act in the morally best interests of all those involved. Gandhi while not known for his rhetoric, was a master at communication and eliciting responses from people through non-violent, non-coercive means of persuasion. He did this through fasting and through one-on-one interactions. He did this in court by telling the judge what sentence he deserves due to the law and the actions he took that were not supported by the law, which received an emotive response from the judge who said that he cannot wait until the law no longer requires that such a man be put in jail. Mahatma Gandhi sealed his legacy through his martyrdom, the cruel juxtaposition of a man who preached non-violence all his life being murdered at gunpoint was enough to ascend this man into the upper echelon of world-renowned spiritual and political figures. ...more
4

Jan 24, 2017

If you're anything like me, your knowledge of Gandhi is probably a disorganised mess. This book provides an excellent remedy.

Chapter 1: Life and work
Chapter 2: Religious thought
Chapter 3: Human nature
Chapter 4: Satyāgraha
Chapter 5: Critique of modernity
Chapter 6: The vision of a non-violent society
Chapter 7: Critical appreciation
5

Feb 27, 2020

After reading the "Gandhi" volumes by Mr Guha, i thought I had a pretty good understanding about the "Mahatma" & hence thought it would have been pointless to read a very short introduction about him. I couldn't have been more wrong. This book is different from the biographical accounts written on Gandhi. The life of Gandhi is discussed in just one chapter. The rest of the book deals with his Philosophy/ideas/thoughts. 'Introduction to Gandhi's philosophy' would have been a much suited title After reading the "Gandhi" volumes by Mr Guha, i thought I had a pretty good understanding about the "Mahatma" & hence thought it would have been pointless to read a very short introduction about him. I couldn't have been more wrong. This book is different from the biographical accounts written on Gandhi. The life of Gandhi is discussed in just one chapter. The rest of the book deals with his Philosophy/ideas/thoughts. 'Introduction to Gandhi's philosophy' would have been a much suited title according to me. It would be advisable to have some prior knowledge about Gandhi before reading this book.

For me the importance of Gandhi's ideas will continue to rise. His thoughts on protests/satyagraha are eye opening. A must read for those who love Gandhi and even for those who hate Gandhi, this book has deep insights and will make you question your beliefs about the man and also about our nation & religion. ...more
4

Dec 09, 2018

Beautiful and simple short introduction of a very influential person whose thoughts and ideas have been distorted today. It is worth reading just so get a high level overview of what really satyāgraha, ekprajā and other major terms associated with Gandhi really means.
It also present a powerful perspective of Gandhi regarding the State. It should give clarity to those who get confused as to why Gandhi was so "romantic" towards villages as unit for development.
4

May 18, 2014

This was one of the best Very Short Introductions I've read. The author did an excellent job distilling Gandhis life and philosophy to around 140 pages. I discovered that I need to read more books about or by Gandhi. I agree with approximately 75% of his political and "spiritual" views. His views on human dignity, non-violence, non-compulsion, and the importance of agency all strike a chord with me.
4

Apr 01, 2018

คานธี หนึงในบุคคลสำคัญทางประวัติศาสตรของอินเดีย ชายผูสรางชาติอินเดีย ชายผูไดรับเสนอชือเขารับรางวัลโนเบลสาขาสันติภาพ และบุคคลสำคัญทีโลกตองจดจำ การตอสูดวยวิธีสันติ บทบาทและการกระทำทีขัดขืนอยางสันติ หรือทีเรียกวาอหิงสา หนังสือเลมนีไดถายทอดมูลเหตุและอัตชีวประวัติทีนำมาสูการตอสูอยางหัวเดดตีน ขาด ซึงดวยวิธีการของคานธีแลวเขาพยายามทีจะปกปองแมเลือดหยดเดียวมิใหหยดไหล แตการตอสูยอมเปนการตอสู เมือเรานึกถึงคานธี เรามักจะนึกถึงการตอสูของเขา แตทีหนังสือเลมนีถายทอดการตอผูอานคือคานธีประสบอะไรมาบางในชีวิต และเขาค คานธี หนึ่งในบุคคลสำคัญทางประวัติศาสตร์ของอินเดีย ชายผู้สร้างชาติอินเดีย ชายผู้ได้รับเสนอชื่อเข้ารับรางวัลโนเบลสาขาสันติภาพ และบุคคลสำคัญที่โลกต้องจดจำ การต่อสู้ด้วยวิธีสันติ บทบาทและการกระทำที่ขัดขืนอย่างสันติ หรือที่เรียกว่าอหิงสา หนังสือเล่มนี้ได้ถ่ายทอดมูลเหตุและอัตชีวประวัติที่นำมาสู้การต่อสู้อย่าง หัวเด็ดตีนขาด ซึ่งด้วยวิธีการของคานธีแล้วเขาพยายามที่จะปกป้องแม้เลือดหยดเดียวมิให้หยด ไหล แต่การต่อสู้ย่อมเป็นการต่อสู้ เมื่อเรานึกถึงคานธี เรามักจะนึกถึงการต่อสู้ของเขา แต่ที่หนังสือเล่มนี้ถ่ายทอดการต่อผู้อ่านคือคานธีประสบอะไรมาบ้างในชีวิต และเขาค้นพบเป้าประสงค์แห่งการปลดแอกอินเดียได้อย่างไร ที่ไหน และด้วยวิธีการอะไร

มาวันนี้สำหรับผู้สนใจศึกษาอัตชีวประวัติบุคคล สำคัญอย่างคานธีอยู่แล้วเราอาจจะไม่สงสัยนักว่าคานธีทำไมจึงเป็นดาวเด่นแห่ง การต่อสู้เรียกร้องสิทธิเสรีภาพ แต่สำหรับผู้ที่สนใจประวัติของท่านไม่ว่าจะศึกษามาก่อนแล้ว หรือสนใจอยู่บ้างแต่ไม่ได้รู้เรื่องท่านเท่าใดนัก หนังสือ คานธี: ความรู้ฉบับพกพาเล่มนี้ จะไม่ทำให้ท่านผิดหวังอย่างแน่นอน ...more
4

Feb 26, 2018

Gandhi was the Jesus Christ of 20th Century to change the world through non-violence. He was a generally very rational man with comprehensive worldview (tackling moral, religious, political, social, economic and cultural fronts in parallel). Majority of his wisdom is ageless and relevant also today except his hostility towards modern civilizations and technologies and implementing his traditional economic views would lead t conflict with his other principles. He believed very strongly that Gandhi was the Jesus Christ of 20th Century to change the world through non-violence. He was a generally very rational man with comprehensive worldview (tackling moral, religious, political, social, economic and cultural fronts in parallel). Majority of his wisdom is ageless and relevant also today except his hostility towards modern civilizations and technologies and implementing his traditional economic views would lead t conflict with his other principles. He believed very strongly that violence is never a solution to anything.

“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”

“God has no religion.”

“Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.”







...more
3

Sep 28, 2017

It is a good book.
The life of Ganhdi and his views on Religion, Human Nature, Modernity and his vision of a non-violent society.
But I think it is a one sided book, it showed a saint not a man.
It was interesting though.
0

Feb 24, 2020

Good perspective on Ghandi's theories, provides some critique and counter arguments to Ghandi's anarcho-socialism and naive view of peaceful resistance which only works if the opponent cares enough not to dehumanize you and mostly works if you are virtuous and have a following.
5

Nov 12, 2015

Though not as "very short" as I expected, about 130 pages in tiny font, this book packed a punch.

The book aims to provide an introduction and critical discussion of Gandhi's beliefs and philosophies on spirituality, religion, morality, justice and good governance, and how his beliefs and actions centring around non-violence and suffering love impacted society. It places a lower priority on the details of his personal life.

Bhikhu Parekh is a very effective writer, able to communicate complex Though not as "very short" as I expected, about 130 pages in tiny font, this book packed a punch.

The book aims to provide an introduction and critical discussion of Gandhi's beliefs and philosophies on spirituality, religion, morality, justice and good governance, and how his beliefs and actions centring around non-violence and suffering love impacted society. It places a lower priority on the details of his personal life.

Bhikhu Parekh is a very effective writer, able to communicate complex ideas with a mix of high level vocabulary yet understandable sentences. His outline of Gandhi's various beliefs were clear yet concise. And his analysis of Gandhi was well balanced and thorough.

Through reading this, I gained a higher level of admiration and respect for Gandhi's wisdom and vision, which formed the basis for his actions for which he was best known. I personally really like good theoretical discussions about ideas such as philosophy and beliefs, but for those more curious about Gandhi himself, I would not recommend this book for you. ...more
4

Jun 01, 2012

After reading this book, I realized why MK Gandhi is above all great politicians of his time and our time as well and how this he learnt and analysed fundamental principles of human societies which acts as foundation for any state or country. He leveraged this knwoeldge to turnaround British Rule in india.

3

Jan 10, 2011

Good start. Better are: The Penguin Gandhi Reader & An Autobiography or The Story of My Experiments with Truth
5

Sep 04, 2013

Parekh's introduction is well-written, clear, understandable, and broad in scope. And excellent introduction to Gandhi's life, political activism, and thought.
3

Aug 24, 2016

Like it says

It's a very short introduction to Gandhi. Not knowing much about the man I think this book did a good job of teaching the basics.
4

Oct 21, 2014

Erudite, concise and a great introduction to Gandhi moral, religious and political thought and actions.
5

Apr 18, 2016

Brilliant analysis of Gandhi's thoughts on politics, religion and society.

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