Thursday, April 07, 2011

Joseph Lelyveld's Book on Gandhiji "Great Soul"

I don't know what's this controversy about the biography of Mahatma Gandhi "Great Soul" is all about. The book is written by Joseph Lelyveld, a former executive editor of New York Times. I remember buying Gandhiji's "My Experiments with Truth" and being bored in about 50 pages. I don't know if it is the writing style or something, but I remember a terrible ennui that prevented me from going any further. Here's a book review in Wall Street Journal.

Sure Gandhiji was frank about his frailties, his shortcomings, which we all have in plenty. At least, he was honest about revealing them instead of keeping them pent up inside, like we all do. So what's new? He has already written about sleeping with virgins and the experiments with truth he has conducted in his lifetime. We venerate our great souls and we don't question their behaviour, do we?

This is what Hari Kunzru writes about the book in New York Times, "Judicious and thoughtful . . . Great Soul will come as a revelation" Surely, the controversy will give the book a lot of attention, therefore, more sales.

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