Gandhi: Naked Ambition by Jad Adams
The pre-eminent political and spiritual leader of India's independence movement, pioneer of non-violent resistance to tyranny through mass civil disobedience (satyagraha), honoured in India as 'father of nation', Mohandas K. Gandhi has inspired movements for civil rights and political freedom across the world. Jad Adams offers a concise and elegant account of Gandhi's life: from his birth and upbringing in a small princely state in Gujarat during the high noon of the British Raj, to his assassination at the hands of a Hindu extremist in 1948 only months after the birth of the independent India which he himself he had done so much to bring about. He delineates the principal events of a career that may truly be said to have changed the world: his training as a barrister in late Victorian London; his civil rights work in Boer War-era South Africa; his leadership of the Indian National Congress; his focus on obtaining self-government and control of all Indian government institutions, and the campaigns of non-cooperation and non-violence against British rule in India whereby he sought to achieve that aim (including the famous 'Salt March' of March/April 1930); his passionate opposition to partition in 1947 and his fasts-unto-death in a bid to end the bitter and bloody sectarian violence that attended it. Jad Adams's accessible and thoughtful biography not only traces the outline of an extraordinary life with exemplary clarity, but also examines why Mahatma Gandhi and his teachings are still profoundly relevant today.