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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Please buy this book
This book will be an inspiration for anyone, who themselves strive to integrate ideals such as contentment, sacrifice and love for all beings in their dayly life. Gandhi faced many hardships in his life, but his constant return to ethics, when confronted by problems gives inspiration and hope for those of us struggling to deal ethically with our (comparatively) lesser...
Published on 17 Jun 2000

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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Want to learn about Gandhi? Don't start here.
Gandhi described his life as a series of experiments in truth, and his autobiography does take on a serial format - you start at the beginning, you progress to a final chapter. Autobiographies can and do fall into this serial trap - they recount episodes, they do not offer a critical evaluation, do not necessarily give any real or accurate insight into the emergence of...
Published 12 months ago by Budge Burgess


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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Please buy this book, 17 Jun 2000
By A Customer
This book will be an inspiration for anyone, who themselves strive to integrate ideals such as contentment, sacrifice and love for all beings in their dayly life. Gandhi faced many hardships in his life, but his constant return to ethics, when confronted by problems gives inspiration and hope for those of us struggling to deal ethically with our (comparatively) lesser problems. By reading Gandhis humble account of his life, you will be inspired to take a more patient, tolerant and forgiving approach to your fellow beings. That alone should be sufficient reason to buy this book.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a different view of Gandhi - from himself, 15 Dec 2007
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This is a fantastic book. Like most everyone I knew the basic facts of the great man, mostly based I guess on the Ben Kingsley film.

This book is autobiographical articles that MK Gandhi wrote in the 1920s to be published as installments in newspaper publications. The beauty of that for me was the fact that although the book is quite long it was broken into 170 chapters of a few pages each. This also allowed time for reflection.

It is the story of his personal walk from childhood and married at 13, through studies in the UK, difficulties as he started work in India and his movement to South Africa to find work, his time in South Africa and his return to India and his early years back in India. It misses most of the famous things about his life and focuses more on his personal and spiritual search for Truth. I liked that it that way.

It gave a very different perspective on his life. Although some parts were hard to understand without a more detailed knowledge of his life, India and Hindu religious belief I did not find that detracted very much at all from my enjoyment or reflection on this book.

It also shows his struggles as he is trying to perfect his search for Truth/God and where he feels disappointed with his efforts. There is a lot of information on his experiments with dietetics.

Gave me a very different view on some cores of his belief in Hinduism, without being a treatise for any particular religion.

It probably wasn't easy being his wife!
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gandhi : Change your concepts about him., 26 Jan 1999
By A Customer
When I was young I was told in my school and syllabi books that Gandhi was the ringleader of "Hindu toola" who were creating Hindu-Muslim hatred before 1947 (I am talking about schools in Pakistan).Eventhough my ideas regarding Gandhi changed by the time I entered Uni,my instinct to explore the true nature of our pre-independence leaders is still there.This book no doubt has been my favourite since the day it was published and anyone who has misconception of any types should read this .
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43 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone should read this book, 12 May 2004
In his own words, Gandhi takes us through some of the experiences in his life, with each chapter forming at least one important learning lesson to him. All experiences, whether good or bad, had a positive learning lesson on him and contributed to his goal of seeking truth.
One of his main beliefs was using non-violence as a means of protesting against acts of oppression and using international law to seek justice. This meant he never raised his fists or lowered himself to barbarism however much he was provoked, violated or attacked. In fact this seems to be the opposite attitude demonstrated by all terrorists and most countries (West, Middle East and East) where the belief is that violence and war works. It never has and never will. As Gandhi says "an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind".
As we now enter the third of the world wars, where the weapons are horrific and the consequences unimaginable, Gandhi's words have never been more important. All politicians and world leaders should read this book. In fact everyone should read this book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An insight into a 'great' soul, 23 July 2013
This book is a must read, not only for understanding one of the greatest men ever but also for finding answers to the many dilemmas and predicaments that cloud human mind and soul. The tone of the book is so simple and honest that it's almost like having a conversation with the man himself. A journey so extraordinary and the experiments with 'truth' so outstanding and consequential that it leaves one dumb found and mesmerized. From South Africa to India, from lies and deception to punctiliousness, from dietary fads to intricacies of man-woman relationship, from cooperation to civil disobedience, from obedience to inquiry, from means to end, from immediate family to the nation, from ordinary to the extraordinary - the theme of the book is 'evolution' of man and his ideas. As the 'Bhagvad Gita', Tolstoy's 'Kingdom of God is Within You' and Ruskin's 'Unto this Last' influenced Gandhi's nascent mind, 'My Experiments with Truth' is a work of similar significance and power.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truth Be Told, 2 Jan 2008
By 
Mr. V. K. Desour "Learner" (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I am yet to finish reading this book and I have to say it is an amazing book to read. The man is what he says he is and the truth he does tell. He has so far told us things I would expect the normal person who was in his position not to say a word about a few things, however he is very open with what he is about and why. He's an open book. I have read his Bio before and this is hands down much better as it's 1st hand information.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truth and Non-Violence as delivered in Gandhi's own words, 6 Aug 1998
By A Customer
Gandhi changed the way the world thinks. His life and message for the world has influenced MLK's fight for civil rights in the USA. Gandhi revolutionized the fight for freedom. All revolutionary wars before India's independence were fought by using brute force. Gandhi used Thoreau's "Civil Disobedience" as the basis for India's fight for freedom from over 200 years of British rule. In Gandhi's own words, the reader is given a truthful account of the man who gave his life so that the posterity of Indians could enjoy what his own ancestors had not. Gandhi's fervent devotion to truth can be seen in his description of many details that one would find embarassing and awkward, but Gandhi does not leave out any minor detail. His honesty and philosophy is one capable of moving the citizen, whether he be an Indian, American, or of any other country.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone should read this book, 19 May 2005
In his own words, Gandhi takes us through some of the experiences in his life, with each chapter forming at least one important learning lesson to him. All experiences, whether good or bad, had a positive learning lesson on him and contributed to his goal of seeking the truth.
One of his main beliefs was using non-violence as a means of protesting against acts of oppression and using international law to seek justice. This meant he never raised his fists or lowered himself to barbarism however much he was provoked, violated or attacked. In fact this seems to be the opposite attitude demonstrated by all terrorists and most countries (West, Middle East and East) where the belief is that violence and war works. It never has and never will. As Gandhi says "an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind".
As we have now entered the third of the world wars, where the weapons are horrific and the consequences unimaginable, Gandhi's words have never been more important. All politicians and world leaders should read this book. In fact everyone should read this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Integrity and dignity, 7 Aug 2010
Not an autobiography in the traditional sense but an account of one man's thoughts and beliefs that espoused his way of life. Simply written to express ideas over his life up to the time he felt his life was too public for him to write about.

Though a significant person in world events this autobiography emphasises the smaller `elements' of his life, illustrating the equal passion he applied to both his politics and personal life. Gandhi's `experiments in truth' discloses his thoughts on such topics as veganism, sanitation, dietetics, fasting, natural medicine, communal living and celibacy (all relating to ethics of living). He places equal emphasis and passion on these ethics as he does with injustices of the South African regime, untouchability and the English empire. The book illustrates a man who lived with integrity and dignity under trying conditions.

Though a lot of his philosophy is about self restraint, we get a sense of a fierce exponent of justice who lived under oppressive regimes. His ability to negotiate injustices indicate a man of great intelligence and courage who understood the political arena and challenged the status quo through non-violence.

The autobiography does not focus on political events in a contextual manner - these are best served by observers to his life who would cover the background to these events. This book concerns itself on a remarkable man who avails his thoughts and expresses them in his deeds, through his pursuit of truth, with the honesty not found in other political biographies.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Want to learn about Gandhi? Don't start here., 16 July 2013
By 
Budge Burgess (Troon, Scotland) - See all my reviews
Gandhi described his life as a series of experiments in truth, and his autobiography does take on a serial format - you start at the beginning, you progress to a final chapter. Autobiographies can and do fall into this serial trap - they recount episodes, they do not offer a critical evaluation, do not necessarily give any real or accurate insight into the emergence of the thinking or philosophy of a man as significant in 20th century history as Gandhi.

What is missing from this Autobiography is an historical perspective - siting the man in the India of his childhood, the England of his legal education, the South Africa of his emergence, and back again to the India he would help transform. What is missing is a critical appraisal of Gandhi's development and role.

Instead, we get a mixture of the mundane and the simplistic. He describes his angst at being encouraged to try meat over a one year period by a friend. He is coy about his sexual experiences, embarrassed by his marriage at 13 to a 13 year old girl. He talks about visiting a prostitute, he talks of his horror at scuffing someone's top hat. He portrays a young man completely at sea and addrift from others.

For a man of his time, this is perhaps honest, but it lacks depth of explanation and exploration. It is clawingly coy. You sense he struggles to understand people, to form relationships, you sense that, because of this, he is reluctant to introspect, certainly publicly. He is a man clearly absorbed in his own psyche but - because he lacks insight into others - he has limited perspective. He finds it easier to understand causes and ideas than individuals.

You sense a man who has problems fitting in - he hurries to buy the appropriate Western clothes when he arrives in England. On the one hand he seems desperate to conform, on the other he can be steadfast in his beliefs. He may struggle to fit in, he has no problem standing out. He is pursuing truth, he wants others - particularly in the West - to understand the truth of empire and racism, to get an honest perspective on their role and the hypocrisy of their lifestyles. But still, you just wonder how honest he is with himself.

Clearly, Gandhi has an intellectual and 'spiritual' struggle - he will advocate ascetic, non-materialist principles, but his is a privileged background (although he protests his family was poor). He describes stealing pennies from the servants so he can experiment with cigarettes, he describes accounting for every farthing he spends while studying law. He describes his pursuit of truth - explaining his religion as the pursuit of self-realisation, his deity as the embodiment of 'Truth'. But is this an honest account?

Overall, what you get are edited highlights of an ascetic life. There's an element of rationalising in his account - of smoothing things over so you get a straight line emergence of the man at the end of the book. It's not consciously dishonest, you just suspect it's not entirely honest ... that there are places he'd prefer not to go, or at least prefer to keep to himself.

The writing remains coy - perhaps self-effacing might be a more charitable description. When he describes his thoughts and responses to situations, you do sense he smoothes out the emotions and anguish, delivers a sanitised version of his truth on the matter. You feel you need more background, you need a more critical and clinical evaluation, you need a devil's advocate to get in there and argue with him. The book becomes one dimensional.

As an insight into Gandhi's thinking, perhaps the Autobiography does make some contribution, but, if you'll forgive the pun, you do wish there was more meat to it. If you want to find out about Gandhi and his role in the 20th century, read a biography or two, read up on the histories, come to the man more obliquely than this volume allows. The writing, here, is dated; it is idiosyncratic, it is just a touch quaint, a touch affected. This is a man who would bring iconic, inspirational authority to non-violent protest, a man who would put his freedom and his life on the line for others. The Autobiography seems trite by comparison - seems to lack the passion and energy the man could clearly evoke. An interesting adjunct to your knowledge and understanding once you've read a series of boooks on Gandhi's life and times - just don't start here.
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