Gandhi's nonviolent struggles in South Africa and India had already brought him to such a level of notoriety, adulation, and controversy that when asked to write an autobiography midway through his career, he took it as an opportunity to explain himself. Although accepting of his status as a great innovator in the struggle against racism, violence, and, just then, colonialism, Gandhi feared that enthusiasm for his ideas tended to exceed a deeper understanding. He says that he was after truth rooted in devotion to God and attributed the turning points, successes, and challenges in his life to the will of God. His attempts to get closer to this divine power led him to seek purity through simple living, dietary practices (he called himself a fruitarian), celibacy, and ahimsa
, a life without violence. It is in this sense that he calls his book The Story of My Experiments with Truth
, offering it also as a reference for those who would follow in his footsteps. A reader expecting a complete accounting of his actions, however, will be sorely disappointed.
Although Gandhi presents his episodes chronologically, he happily leaves wide gaps, such as the entire satyagraha struggle in South Africa, for which he refers the reader to another of his books. And writing for his contemporaries, he takes it for granted that the reader is familiar with the major events of his life and of the political milieu of early 20th-century India. For the objective story, try Yogesh Chadha's Gandhi: A Life. For the inner world of a man held as a criminal by the British, a hero by Muslims, and a holy man by Hindus, look no further than these experiments. --Brian Bruya
Présentation de l'éditeur
This is Gandhi's autobiography covering his life from early childhood to approximately 1921. In Gandhi's own words: "I simply want to tell the story of my numerous experiments with truth, and as my life consists of nothing but those experiments, it is true that the story will take the shape of an autobiography. But I shall not mind, if every page of it speaks only of my experiments . . . I should certainly like to narrate my experiments in the spiritual field which are known only to myself, and from which I have derived such power as I posses for working in the political field . . . If I had only to discuss academic principles. I should clearly not attempt an autobiography. But my purpose being to give an account of various practical applications of these principles, I have given the chapters I propose to write the title of The Story of My Experiments with Truth. These will of course include experiments with non-violence, celibacy and other principles of conduct believed to be distinct from truth."
Translated by Mahadev Desai and with a New Preface
The only authorized American edition
Mohandas K. Gandhi is one of the most inspiring figures of our time. In his classic autobiography he recounts the story of his life and how he developed his concept of active nonviolent resistance, which propelled the Indian struggle for independence and countless other nonviolent struggles of the twentieth century.
In a new foreword, noted peace expert and teacher Sissela Bok urges us to adopt Gandhi's "attitude of experimenting, of tesing what will and will not bear close scrutiny, what can and cannot be adapted to new circumstances," in order to bring about change in our own lives and communities. All royalties earned on this book are paid to the Navajivan Trust, founded by Gandhi, for use in carrying on his work.
All royalties earned on this book are paid to the Navajivan Trust, founded by Gandhi, for use in carrying on his work.
Biographie de l'auteur
Mohandas Gandhi was born in Western India in 1869. After studying law in London and living in South Africa for many years, he returned to India in 1915, where he spent the rest of his life campaigning for India's independence and promoting his fundamental principles of truth and non-violence. He died in 1948.