The Essential Gandhi
His Life, Work and Ideas: An Anthology

Fischer, Louis (ed.)
Publisher:  Vintage Books, New York, USA
Year Published:  1962
Pages:  377pp   Resource Type:  Book
Cx Number:  CX7409

A selection of Gandhi's writing.

The Essential Gandhi is a collection of Gandhi's writings. Excerpts are from his books, newspapers and statements, including: An Autobiography of My Experiments with Truth; Sataygrapha in South Africa; Indian Opinion; Young India; Hind Swaraj or Indian Home Rule; and From Yeravda Mandir, as well as political letters, public addresses, and speeches. The editor,
Louis Fischer, takes pieces of Gandhi's work and binds them together to tell the story of his life.

Gandhi's autobiography did not seek to tell of his life, but of his path to self-actualization and his experiments in self-realization. He searches for truth and believes that he cannot know himself unless he reveals himself. Even his most private confessions are present in his writings, accompanied by his own narration of his political movements. His method and political principles are described with commentary by Fischer. Fischer also provides background information and explanations that make the book more readable from a Western perspective.

The book begins with Gandhi as a boy and his transformation into the Mahatma. In the first section, The Man, he endures failures and develops his method of non-resistance. The section ends with his victory in South Africa. Part 2: The Mahatma includes Gandhi's writings on issues such as freedom, independence, equality, socialism, and the future of humanity. It ends with his untimely death as the last victory.

"Every man has an equal right to the necessaries of life even as birds and beasts have... I hate privilege and monopoly. Whatever cannot be shared with the masses is taboo to me." Gandhi's goals of peace, equality and non-violent discourse permeate his writing.

[Abstract by Mia Manns]

Table of Contents

Part One: The Man
1. Beginnings of a Great Man
2. Gandhi in England
3. Gandhi Fails
4. The Method is Born
5. The Struggle
6. Victory in South Africa

Part Two: The Mahatma
7. Facing the British in India
8. Segregation in India
9. Civil Disobedience Succeeds
10. Murder in an Indian Garden
11. Non-Violence
12. Gandhi's Road to Jail
13. The Power of the Mind
14. National Independence is Not Enough
15. Gandhi's Message to All Men
16. Gandhi's Political Principles
17. Belief and Human Welfare
18. Sex, Sanitation, and Segregation
19. The Liberty March
20. How to Enjoy Jail
21. Fast Against Indian Prejudice
22. Blueprint for a Better Life
23. Gandhi on Socialism and Communism
24. Gandhi About Himself
25. Gandhi's Advice to Negroes
26. Love Versus War and Dictators
27. "Quit India"
28. Independence and Sorrow
29. Last Victory


Subject Headings

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