Book Review – GANDHI BEFORE INDIA by Ramachandra Guha

-Ramachandra Guha

Pages: 730


Ramachandra Guha’s previous book ‘India After Gandhi’ proved itself in the international community as it did in the market. Though this latest book of his sounds by its name as a second part of India After Gandhi, it is not.

Gandhi Before India is an account of what Gandhi was as a child to what he had become after his experiences in South Africa. This book of Guha cannot be said to be a philosophical or spiritual account like many other books on Gandhi are. It is a simple and a chronological explanation of various happenings, deeds of Gandhi and his responses to the deeds of others.

Guha’s lucid language and clear timely description surely would give a very gripping read. Gandhi’s adventurous and heart-throbbing life story complimented with Guha’s knowledge of it and his literary style makes the book all the more interesting and page turning. Guha does not fail in describing even minute details in the book. Sometimes he even goes as far as to describe the colours of shirts the people were wearing. I let the reader mind that this so vivid description does not hinder in anyway but only exudes the depth of research the author has done on Gandhi.

While the book does not disappoint the reader in any way, there does exist a fundamental setback to some for the book does not tell the whole life story of Gandhi but stops abruptly in between. It does not go any further than when Gandhi reaches an age of 50. Another setback, though not as serious as the first, is that the book is best for those who already possess a good picture of happenings around Gandhi of the time. These are the only minuses in the book which “may” play their part for a few readers.

Taking into count the above mentioned pros and cons, it can be said without hesitation that this latest work of Ramachandra Guha, “Gandhi Before India” is a very good book and will surely satisfy anyone with a little knowledge about the father of the nation of India and immensely interested to learn more about the Mahatma.


4 thoughts on “Book Review – GANDHI BEFORE INDIA by Ramachandra Guha

    1. Yeah… What matters is what you expect from the book before you read it… Gandhi’s life was 10 time more adventurous in the later years than the ones covered by the book… Ergo, most like to read about them… Hope I was clear…! 😊

      1. You are right about the adventurous part. But I think that a well-written description of the “salt-tax” years would be interesting. Thank you for introducing me to the book.

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