Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle With India is a biography Pulitzer Prize-winning author Joseph Lelyveld and published by Alfred A Knopf. Great Soul has ratings and 85 reviews. Reading Joseph Lelyveld’s sensitive and informative biography of the life of Mahatma Gandhi is enriching in many. 1 quote from Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle With India: ‘I should like to slip out of the public gaze to bury myself in the farm and devot.

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I had such ioseph suspicion, but never could pinpoint the fact. It This is a masterfully comprehensive and somewhat flawed work that is a worthy read, especially for those seeking to learn about the life of the Mahatma in great detail. It was another way of insisting that their motives were pure and disinterested, that they rose up not for themselves but for a future in which they might or might not have a share.

Great Soul by Joseph Lelyveld | : Books

I only needed to consult a dictionary a few times. It was only after I exposed this passage that Roberts finally said: Apr 14, Grady rated it it was amazing. This illustrates the fundamental differences between the British and German empires — the Lelveld Empire only committed genocide hreat it benefitted their policies — the Nazi empire, genocide joswph open policy and law.

However, he adds that Gandhi in lelyvsld a vow of celibacy, which both Gandhi and the people of India saw as a cornerstone of his moral authority. In India the caste system prevails, though it is gfeat. A very interesting read. His main goals in life were to end the caste system in India, end British rule in India and South Africa, and for people everywhere to be accepting of others, regardless of their own belief system.

He lays out the facts and leaves readers to summon up their own interpretations and reactions to them. They are not put into action. May 26, Charles Areson rated it really liked it. That’s probably a consequence of Lelyveld’s implicitly Weberian theory of politics and religion—but is that Gandhi’s fault? Mar 29, Pages. Gandhi, for the majority of his life had been equivocal about caste system, ostensibly because he had other agendas like Hindu-Muslim unity, swaraj as well is confronted many times by Ambedkar.


In my opinion, that falls way short of the mark. Aug 06, Mary rated it really liked it Shelves: Again, it’s only lelgveld he engages in occasional speculation – usually to soften the Mahatma’s rough edges, contradictions, etc. My summary of these issues and full review of the book is at greatnonfictionbooks. May 14, Carol rated it liked it.

And never gave up experimenting, until his much awaited by him assassination. Though it made a very dry reading I had never realised how essential that 20 years was in making Gandhi. It was interesting to read the biases between the races and how Gandhi was interested in equality for the Indians in South Africans but not the Jlseph causing me to wonder if he was somewhat racist, a thought that come back to several times.

Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle With India

The most astonishing example is when he sleeps naked with his teenaged relative, in order to hold fast. What I completely failed to understand here is how with all his failings, his open hypocrisy, his obnoxious personal habits, his religious superstitions, his political wilyness, his constant changes of stance, his insensitivity to the needs of those close to him and his massive ego he still came to be greeat among the masses as a greay.

The man was a lawyer long before he was a saint. Gandhi was not an easy person to understand, his value is system is more or less rigid but his ideas and goals keep on changing, at times he seems overtly religious, but unlike Hindus he never goes to temples though he always refers to his struggle and thought process as religious.

He shuttled between Delhi and Grest Pakistan Bangladesh several times in order to quell violence and he always succeeded, at least temporarily.

Another important contribution of the book is the systematic uncovering of the link between Gandhi’s evolution in his private life and his ability to make a dent in public life. He said Gandhi’s correspondence with Kallenbach has been available in library archives for decades.

Great Soul Quotes

It is interesting to read how this middle class orthodox Hindu who didn’t have sympathy in the beginning for indentured Indian labourers who were of generally from lower castes and turned into apostle fighting for caste equality.


Lelyveld is up to the job, delivering an ultimately indispensable take on the flesh-and-blood man who may have been his own best hagiographer. This is not the Gandhi superbly portrayed by Ben Kingsely in the hagiographic but wonderful motion picture. Nov 26, Melissa rated it it was ok Shelves: Like anyone else though, he could not see ahead of time or into even the near future josehp monsters such as Hitler and the many dictators throughout history who lived by and only knew the use of violence and absolutely could not be reasoned with.

What the book is not able to convey why zoul is a Great Soul. Books portal India portal.

He exerted on India the same tyrannical will he applied to his family, friends and followers, endearing it and then blackmailing it lflyveld his fasts. Marable was both a scholar and an activist, hence the political scope and immense detail of his Malcolm book, whereas Lelyveld’s reporting background equips him more for vivid images and enticing connections than for archival organization or theoretical analysis. Very telling and well done.

Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle with India – Wikipedia

He is a most veteran of India reporters, even taking the time to interview some year-old witnesses and visit the ruins of pilgrimage sites in South Africa and India.

The Legislative Assembly of Gujaratthe lawmaking body of Gandhi’s home state, voted unanimously on March 20,to ban Great Soul because of the controversy. He reinvented his diet and his religion, and quite soon also his clothing.

He fought for new sanitation ioseph, and even his most loyal followers felt imbarassed for him and 55 million people still do not sojl access to sanitation facilities in India today.