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An Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with Truth Paperback – 25 Nov 1982

4.5 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New edition edition (25 Nov. 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140066268
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140066265
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 1.9 x 18.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 621,273 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

MOHANDAS KARAMCHAND "MAHATMA" GANDHI (1869-1948) was an advocate and pioneer of nonviolence. He led the struggle for India's independence from British colonial rule.

Judith Brown has written many books on Gandhi and India including Gandhi's Rise to Power, Gandhi and Civil Disobedience, Gandhi: Prisoner of Hope and Nehru. A Political Life. She is Beit Professor of Commonwealth History at Oxford University.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Format: Paperback
Gandhi turns out to be much deeper than I expected after reading this book. It covers a vast array of subjects, all dealt with with the most amazing modesty, as Gandhi literally experiments his way through subjects like dietetics, religion, equality and non-violent protest towards his success in the later years that made him world-famous. Buy it now, and learn from it.
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Sadly I was a little disappointed with this. After watching Richard Attenborough's epic with Ben Kingsley, I was so inspired that I had to read more about this inspirational man, so I went straight to the library to get his autobiography.

When will I learn?! I'm not a big fan of autobiographies as, no matter how interesting the person, they tend to be dull and tedious, concentrating on the minutiae, rather than the overall bigger picture. As autobiographies go, this is a strange one. It is what it says on the cover - a series of brief descriptions of his many experiments with the principles of Satya (truth), Ahimsa (non-violence), Religion and Diet. It also charts his journeys through South Africa and India and his dealings with the Governments of the time, pioneering the principle of Satyagraha (mass civil disobedience). There are gaps, however, which was annoying as a reader when the Author declines to describe a particular event, but refers you to another of his books. However, Gandhi writes exquisitely, and his use of language is exemplary. In this respect it was a pleasure to read. Credit must also go to the translator of course, Mahadev Desai.

The theme which resonated most with me was, strangely, his experiments with religion. Strangely, as I'm an atheist. His quest for a better understanding of all religions is admirable. Perhaps if religious leaders all over the world were to be as reasonable and pragmatic as Gandhi, we might not have so many wars based on religion. Gandhi might not have agreed with all principles from every religion, but the very fact that he was willing to acknowledge their existence makes him a better man than most. India and the Indian people have a baffling number of religions and languages.
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I have long held Gandhi in high esteem. It has been some time that I have been curious to know more about the man, his life and how he thought. What better way to learn about Gandhi than through the man's own autobiography? Reading Experiments in Truth has given me both the insight I wanted into Gandhi's life, and some great pearls of wisdom to apply in my own life.

Gandhi was clearly a principled man, who has led a fascinating life - a life in which he has staunchly stuck by his moral values at every stage, a life whose turnings have been steered by himself. It shows Gandhi's life was, as the title states, a series of experiments in truth.

Reading this book taught me a lot about Gandhi's life that I didn't previously know. It is certainly an inspirational read.

Gandhi always sought to understand all points of view about an issue, and no matter how bad somebody's deeds, he never wanted to have anything against them personally. In Gandhi's words:
Man and his deed are two distinct things...the doer of the deed, whether good or wicked, always deserves respect or pity as the case may be. `Hate the sin and not the sinner'.

In fact, one of Gandhi's principles in life was that every case can be seen from "no less than seven points of view, all of which are correct by themselves, but not correct at the same time and in the same circumstances". This is akin to modern-day NLP's presuppositions that "the map is not the territory" and that every behaviour has a positive intention. It goes without saying that he was a pioneer.

Gandhi, like so many determined and successful people, believed that what has happened is now in the past - we can learn lessons from past incidents for the future, and that is all.
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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
Gandhi was such a great man with visionary beyond his time. With courage, self-willed and disciplined mind. He was one of a few who can achieved what he did in one life time. I truly enjoyed this book and recommend it to anyone who is searching for the meaning of life.
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