In 1893, when Mohandas Gandhi set sail for South Africa, he was a brief less lawyer who had failed to establish himself in India. In this remarkable biography, Ramachandra Guha argues that the two decades that Gandhi spent in the diaspora were the making of the Mahatma. It was here that he forged the philosophy and techniques that would ultimately destroy the British Empire.
Based on archival research in four continents, this book explores Gandhi’s experiments with dissident cults, his friendships and enmities and his failures as a husband and father. Gandhi before India tells the dramatic story of how he mobilized a cross-class and inter-religious coalition pledged to non-violence in the battle against a racist regime.
Deeply researched and beautifully written, this book will radically alter our understanding and appreciation of modern India’s greatest man.