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by William L. Shirer


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by. Shirer, William L. (William Lawrence), 1904-1993. Books for People with Print Disabilities. Internet Archive Books. Delaware County District Library (Ohio).

by William L. Shirer. Recalling his friendship and conversations with the late Indian leader, William Shirer presents a portrait of Gandhi that spotlights his frailties as well as his accomplishments. As a young foreign correspondent, William Shirer reported briefly on Gandhi-but the year was 1931, when India's struggle for independence peaked and Gandhi scored perhaps his greatest political success.

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Shirer is not attempting a complete book about Gandhi, either in terms of covering his full life or in terms of covering everything he di. I've read a lot of Gandhi books, and I think this is the most rich and profound of the lot.

Shirer is not attempting a complete book about Gandhi, either in terms of covering his full life or in terms of covering everything he did. He tells his own story: what he saw, and what he felt. And it's a great story. He was lucky to catch Gandhi at a pivotal moment (the Salt March). 0. Report.

FREE shipping on qualifying offers. Recalling his friendship and conversations with the late Indian leader, Shirer presents a portrait of Gandhi that spotlights his frailties as well as his accomplishments.

0671250795 New Book with Dust Jacket. Purchased from Sale Table at local book retailer(all new books). I have examined all aspects of this volume and find no flaws whatsoever. Note:Your Satisfaction is Guaranteed.

Gandhi: A Memoir (Abacus Books),William L.

Posting to Russian Federation. Gandhi: A Memoir (Abacus Books),William L. Widows (Abacus Books) By Ariel Dorfman, S. Kessler.

Gandhi: A Memoir (Abacus Books) epub download

ISBN13: 978-0349131627

ISBN: 0349131627

Author: William L. Shirer

Category: Bio and Memoris

Subcategory: Memoirs

Language: English

Publisher: Abacus (1982)

Pages: 256 pages

ePUB size: 1571 kb

FB2 size: 1323 kb

Rating: 4.1

Votes: 801

Other Formats: txt docx lrf azw

Related to Gandhi: A Memoir (Abacus Books) ePub books

Paster
I found the book to be very interesting and another great tale of history by Shirer. He brought Gandhi alive and real for us to study. A wonderful chronicle of history. Well done!!
Paster
I found the book to be very interesting and another great tale of history by Shirer. He brought Gandhi alive and real for us to study. A wonderful chronicle of history. Well done!!
Wiliniett
I have often quoted things Ghandi said. I agree with most of his beliefs. I don't know what took me so long to buy this book,but I'm sure glad I did. The book is awsome. What knowledge he possessed. He was truely a great man who "walked the walk" of his convictions. The author did a wonderful job. An amazing book to own.
Wiliniett
I have often quoted things Ghandi said. I agree with most of his beliefs. I don't know what took me so long to buy this book,but I'm sure glad I did. The book is awsome. What knowledge he possessed. He was truely a great man who "walked the walk" of his convictions. The author did a wonderful job. An amazing book to own.
Lavivan
William Shirer's memoir about the year he spend with Gandhi in India. Not the best book I've read by Shirer, but good nevertheless. I am not sure Gandhi's ideas were quite as good as Shirer believed, but it was good enough that now I have to read Gandhi's biography.
Lavivan
William Shirer's memoir about the year he spend with Gandhi in India. Not the best book I've read by Shirer, but good nevertheless. I am not sure Gandhi's ideas were quite as good as Shirer believed, but it was good enough that now I have to read Gandhi's biography.
Vital Beast
very interesting and an historical account that is relatively unknown. The movie is based in part on this book but the details are different. A must read.
Vital Beast
very interesting and an historical account that is relatively unknown. The movie is based in part on this book but the details are different. A must read.
Bumand
This is not a biography of Mahatma Gandhi (1869- 1948), but William Shirer's memoirs of Gandhi who he met in 1931. Fortunately for the young Shirer, he was the only American journalist sent by an American newspaper to cover the story. Gandhi, the saint, was shrewd in allowing interviews to publicize his cause. This gave Shirer one of the great stories of the century.

Shirer's most powerful personal statement is that "Gandhi was my greatest teacher, not only by what he said and wrote and did, but by the example he set." To his credit the author does not shield the reader from Gandhi's "fads, peculiarities and prejudices". Many readers will find these failings more interesting than Gandhi's accomplishments and lower their estimations of Gandhi. This account is involving, with many quotations, the sure hand of the master journalist Shirer telling the story and his thoughts at the time. The index adds to the book's reference value. Although Shirer will always be remembered for The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich and Berlin Diary, this book is a fine effort.
Bumand
This is not a biography of Mahatma Gandhi (1869- 1948), but William Shirer's memoirs of Gandhi who he met in 1931. Fortunately for the young Shirer, he was the only American journalist sent by an American newspaper to cover the story. Gandhi, the saint, was shrewd in allowing interviews to publicize his cause. This gave Shirer one of the great stories of the century.

Shirer's most powerful personal statement is that "Gandhi was my greatest teacher, not only by what he said and wrote and did, but by the example he set." To his credit the author does not shield the reader from Gandhi's "fads, peculiarities and prejudices". Many readers will find these failings more interesting than Gandhi's accomplishments and lower their estimations of Gandhi. This account is involving, with many quotations, the sure hand of the master journalist Shirer telling the story and his thoughts at the time. The index adds to the book's reference value. Although Shirer will always be remembered for The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich and Berlin Diary, this book is a fine effort.
Phain
This nicely personal and readable memoir of Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) is very inspiring. Young newspaperman William L. Shirer (1904-1993) covered Gandhi and Indian nationalism in the early 1930's. That was at the time of Gandhi's salt march to the sea, which protested economic restrictions against Indians. As many know, Gandhi desired independence from Britain, and by 1930 his peaceful protests had disturbed the British Raj and won the hearts of many both in and out of India. Readers see how Gandhi's tactics of peaceful non-cooperation eventually led to independence in 1947 - the British countermeasures never extending from tough to inhumane. We also see Mohandas Gandhi up close; a courageous, humane, brillant, energetic man, yet not without flaws. Still, the author considered Gandhi the 20th Century's greatest man, one who's example inspired Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Aung San Suu Kyi, and countless others. Other great admirers included Albert Einstein and Lord Mountbatten (the last British viceroy of India); their tributes are found at the beginning.

Shirer wrote these readable pages as an old man a half century later, but this superb memoir is worth your time. Also worth reading are Shirer's bestsellers on Nazi Germany (Berlin Diary, Rise and Fall of Third Reich, Nightmare Years).
Phain
This nicely personal and readable memoir of Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) is very inspiring. Young newspaperman William L. Shirer (1904-1993) covered Gandhi and Indian nationalism in the early 1930's. That was at the time of Gandhi's salt march to the sea, which protested economic restrictions against Indians. As many know, Gandhi desired independence from Britain, and by 1930 his peaceful protests had disturbed the British Raj and won the hearts of many both in and out of India. Readers see how Gandhi's tactics of peaceful non-cooperation eventually led to independence in 1947 - the British countermeasures never extending from tough to inhumane. We also see Mohandas Gandhi up close; a courageous, humane, brillant, energetic man, yet not without flaws. Still, the author considered Gandhi the 20th Century's greatest man, one who's example inspired Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Aung San Suu Kyi, and countless others. Other great admirers included Albert Einstein and Lord Mountbatten (the last British viceroy of India); their tributes are found at the beginning.

Shirer wrote these readable pages as an old man a half century later, but this superb memoir is worth your time. Also worth reading are Shirer's bestsellers on Nazi Germany (Berlin Diary, Rise and Fall of Third Reich, Nightmare Years).
Yozshugore
This book is an American journalist's recollection of memories of his days with Gandhi in India from February to June of 1930 and later in England in September and October of 1931 during the first round table conference when working as a reporter for Chicago tribune. Shirer was then just turning twenty-seven. He wrote this beautiful memoir after nearly 50 years from his untainted memories of Mahatma.

One could read his beautifully worded, mellifluent memoir as if reading a story and one would feel as if traveling with him and was part of the drama that was played out between Gandhi and the British in the early part of the 20th century.

When I started reading this book, in spite of its title, I had the same qualms that I had when I started reading other Gandhi books. Most of the Gandhi books follow a chronological order of events of his life; his childhood in Gujarat, England studies, law career, his struggles in south Africa, encounters with General Smuts, home struggle, Kaira and Champaran struggles, round table conferences, Rowlatt act, his fasting and assassination, a monotonous repetition unless accompanied by new interpretations and historical evidences. But Shirer's book on Gandhi, unique in its genre and subject, remains as a true memoir from the beginning to the end. I finished the whole book in one sitting.

Shirer has given many first hand accounts of his acquaintance with Gandhi in his memoir. Shirer beautifully sketches Gandhi from his memories detailing it with even small incidents, relevant or irrelevant to the political struggle in which Gandhi was part of, thus drawing a broader picture of Mahatma, and for readers it is a great treat. This is a definitely a great advantage; for knowing Gandhi better, books written by people who spent times with him have an edge over those written by people who have never seen or was with Gandhi.

You will get to know some of the amazing qualities of Gandhi from Shirer who spent months with him in India and London. Irrespective of age, Gandhi listened to people, engaged in active conversations, shared ideas and even had banters. Gandhi was sixty-one when 27-year-old Shirer was meeting with him. But that age difference did not cause any uneasiness among them and the relation that started at Gandhi's ashram lasted till Gandhi's death nearly 20 years later. Gandhi continued to influence him for the rest of his life. There were many others (Horace Alexander, Charles F Andrews and Madeline Slade are only some of them) like Shirer who came to India to know who this man the world called Mahatma and succumbed to the `magic spell' of his individuality and principles.

In India, Shirer experienced Gandhi at work. Shirer had been in Delhi all the time when Gandhi was meeting with Viceroy Lord Irwin to iron out the specifics of the famous Delhi pact. One gets a sample of the hectic life that Gandhi lead in his life whose days start at 4 in the morning no matter what time he goes to sleep. Readers get glimpses of many of Gandhi's qualities from Shirer's memoir; Gandhi's boundless optimism even when things are in the dire straits (when asked by a reporter about the efficacy of his forthcoming trip to London on the eve of departing for round table conference on a very unfavorable atmosphere for discussing the possibilities of political concessions, Gandhi said, "I don't know. I am just going to ask them freedom".), his unlimited energy (Shirer was so amazed at seeing Gandhi who came back at 1'o clock in the morning from a meeting with Irwin after walking four miles from viceroy palace to his ashram, the distance he always walked except a few times when viceroy sent his car, spending another one hour at spinning before waking up at 4'o clock for his usual morning prayers), punctuality (he has seldom broke or delayed his morning and evening prayer meetings. Even while he was meeting with viceroy conversing matters pertaining to nation building, Gandhi took leave from viceroy and went back by walk four miles to his ashram to conduct his prayer meeting and then came back and continued where they left off. One another occasion during roundtable conference, he took off during the middle of an important negotiation to have his daily prayer on the corridors of House of Commons since going back to his ashram was an impossibility!). Shirer agrees that even at his younger age, he could not keep up with Gandhi's pace when he used to go with him during his morning walk.

To Shirer Gandhi once said that he will live up to see India winning its freedom and asked Shirer to bet on it. Gandhi was neither in a fool's paradise nor brimming with an unrealistic optimism when he made this prediction. The year was 1930. Gandhi was very well aware that British can't hold on to India for long owing to their increasing unpopularity, crumbling financial situations back in England, looming war prospects in Europe etc. The slowing pace of the freedom struggle after the failure of the first round table conference and the deteriorating health of Gandhi proved at times that Shirer was going to win the bet, but history had something else in its stock that Shirer `happily came to know' later though he lost his bet.

He watched Gandhi's composed countenance during their conversations, during Gandhi's conversation with others and during prayer meetings with astonishment even when things were going against him. Only time when Shirer thought Gandhi's composure was shaken was when the handpicked delegates of viceroy stood in the way of a unified India proposal during the round table conference.

Shirer also shares with readers his few meetings with Jinnah, in whom he saw a rebel and an impatient aristocratic politician. Jinnah's western upbringings and sole-politics approach without any commitments to the communal issues of the people were directly opposite to Gandhi's background and his involvement with the masses. Jinnah, a western minded, who enjoyed liquor and posh life and clean-cut beef had never been a match to the pious saint-clad politician Gandhi. If it was not for his contempt for Gandhi and Nehru, he would had never staged a come back into active politics in 1931 after having left for London to continue his law practice upon the non-acceptance of his 14-points-proposal to safeguard the interests of Muslims in a Hindu majority self-governed India by the delegates of Indian national congress three years before.

Shirer has given yet more accounts of Gandhi's unlimited enthusiasm and energy during his meetings with Viceroy in India's summer capital Simla. Unlike Irwin, the new viceroy Willingdon was more hard-lined and he took a sterner stance with Gandhi. Gandhi had to either opt for human-rickshaws or walk twelve miles to meet with viceroy since the viceroy denied Gandhi access to his personal car, a convenience that Gandhi sometimes availed from the previous viceroy. Gandhi in his usual manner, without even a slightest objection but with heavy enthusiasm walked all the twelve miles from where he is staying to the viceroy bunglove through cross country roads that were filled with puddles from heavy rains often arriving at viceroy palace fully drenched instead of choosing to become a burden to his own countrymen. However, the rain did not dampen down his political demands to the viceroy.

When Gandhi was in London, he had been invited by none other than the King George V to his palace, Buckingham and he went to see him in his loincloth! When asked by a reporter whether seeing the King in a loin-cloth was a good idea, he quipped: "the king was wearing enough for us both". Shirer gives Gandhi's stay in London in details; his desperate moments in London round table conference, his meetings with prominent political leaders, deans of colleges, mill workers and owners, school students, even passers by and all but Winston Churchill who refused to see Gandhi. It was during this time that Gandhi had given his only speech addressed for American audience, which was broadcasted live.

Gandhi always believed that propaganda was must to win freedom for India. His agitation of masses of India, his abundance writings, his reliance on reporters, his excessive travel and speeches, and above all his image, a figure in loin-cloth, were all designed by him as part of this propaganda theme for one ultimate objective, freedom for India. When British did not permit any foreign journalists to come to London to report the proceedings of round table conference, Gandhi arranged a ticket for Shirer to travel from Paris to London with him to report the same.

By taking the readers through his memoir by postponing the most controversial chapter of Gandhi's life, his `Brahmacharical' experiments with girls, towards the end, Shirer was clearly delineating Gandhi's true greatness from a few controversies that cast a shadow on his later life. Gandhi had given elaborate explanations on these `controversial' experiments, which were never done in secrecy, to the readers of his journals. For Gandhi these experiments were all part of his `experiments with the truth' like many others that he had been experimenting all through his life with no malicious intentions whatsoever. However, Nirmal Kumar Bose (who was once his secretary and left Gandhi when he came to know about his experiments) and others that was enough for stirring much of controversy, whereas the girls with whom he shared his bed never spoke ill of Gandhi and only considered him as their own `mother'. I would say that the propensity of human beings is to search for filth and in the life of Gandhi also, what Bose and others did is searching that filth which was never existed. In his memoir, Shirer, perplexed by the extent to which Gandhi had taken his experiments, was trying to find some answers that had always eluded his mental capacity and reasoning abilities as had happened to many of the west.

Shirer was not to blame. Gandhi is no an easy man of intelligence and not many in west can clearly understand many connotations of his life political, spiritual or religious unless the significance of many spiritual and religious practices of the East can properly be understood (check out Richard Grenier's `Gandhi nobody knows' for a shining example). Even many in east really have no deeper understanding of some of these practices such as Brahmacharya, religious fasting, kundalini, higher consciousness, enlightenment etc., and without such knowledge a proper understanding of Gandhi is ever going to remain as a distant dream.

Gandhi once told that he is a politician masquerading as a saint, but the history shows the other way. For millions of people in India he was a saint and messenger sent by god down to earth for the welfare of millions of half-naked, ill-nourished millions of poor people of India who soil and toil in the hot sun to make a living. Gandhi miserably failed wherever he mixed religion and politics. For congress members, he was a political poplar without whom they knew the congress body would cease to work as a political mouthpiece of India. Shirer's book gives many accounts of incidents and events supporting this very fact while he was in India. In many ways Gandhi could only be seen as a saint than as a astute political, by his principles and teachings, way of life and his adherence to the teachings of Geetha and Ramayana. But what makes Gandhi different from other saints was his novel idea of putting the working mind of a saint into practice (not without failures) instead of letting it rot by the carefree life in the hermits. For his mixing of politics and religion, he has given this statement, "But though by disclaiming sainthood I disappoint the critic's expectations. I would have him given up his regrets by answering him that the politician in me has never dominated a single decision of mine, and if I seem to take part in politics, it is only because politics encircle us today like the coil of a snake from which one cannot get out, no matter how much one tries...Quite selfishly, as I wish to live in peace in the midst of a bellowing howling around me, I have been experimenting with myself and my friends by introducing religion into politics". His intention was never to establish a theocratic nation though he often spoke about `Rama Rajyam'. A more detailed discussion of this topic is beyond the scope of this review.

Though Shirer could not agree, or rather not understood Gandhi on many topics, he learned from him among many other things that a man can be a man even when he disagree and love has a prominent place in all kinds of relations including in politics. One could surprise how a few months of acquaintance with Gandhi could create such a lasting impression on Shirer. He later said, that was the power of love and truth. Even when mesmerized by the powerful character of Gandhi, Shirer was able to keep the very delicate balance between admiration and adoration, may be that was demanded of him by his job. Years later, when in America, hearing the news of the assassination, Shirer seemed to have lost that balance and only then he started seeing the real meaning of `Gandhi'. In the later years of his life, while writing this memoir, he was pondering over how helpful were his teachings for him at his life's many precarious moments. What attracted people towards Gandhi, as Shirer correctly pointed out, was his warmth in relations, his genuine openness and simplicity.
Yozshugore
This book is an American journalist's recollection of memories of his days with Gandhi in India from February to June of 1930 and later in England in September and October of 1931 during the first round table conference when working as a reporter for Chicago tribune. Shirer was then just turning twenty-seven. He wrote this beautiful memoir after nearly 50 years from his untainted memories of Mahatma.

One could read his beautifully worded, mellifluent memoir as if reading a story and one would feel as if traveling with him and was part of the drama that was played out between Gandhi and the British in the early part of the 20th century.

When I started reading this book, in spite of its title, I had the same qualms that I had when I started reading other Gandhi books. Most of the Gandhi books follow a chronological order of events of his life; his childhood in Gujarat, England studies, law career, his struggles in south Africa, encounters with General Smuts, home struggle, Kaira and Champaran struggles, round table conferences, Rowlatt act, his fasting and assassination, a monotonous repetition unless accompanied by new interpretations and historical evidences. But Shirer's book on Gandhi, unique in its genre and subject, remains as a true memoir from the beginning to the end. I finished the whole book in one sitting.

Shirer has given many first hand accounts of his acquaintance with Gandhi in his memoir. Shirer beautifully sketches Gandhi from his memories detailing it with even small incidents, relevant or irrelevant to the political struggle in which Gandhi was part of, thus drawing a broader picture of Mahatma, and for readers it is a great treat. This is a definitely a great advantage; for knowing Gandhi better, books written by people who spent times with him have an edge over those written by people who have never seen or was with Gandhi.

You will get to know some of the amazing qualities of Gandhi from Shirer who spent months with him in India and London. Irrespective of age, Gandhi listened to people, engaged in active conversations, shared ideas and even had banters. Gandhi was sixty-one when 27-year-old Shirer was meeting with him. But that age difference did not cause any uneasiness among them and the relation that started at Gandhi's ashram lasted till Gandhi's death nearly 20 years later. Gandhi continued to influence him for the rest of his life. There were many others (Horace Alexander, Charles F Andrews and Madeline Slade are only some of them) like Shirer who came to India to know who this man the world called Mahatma and succumbed to the `magic spell' of his individuality and principles.

In India, Shirer experienced Gandhi at work. Shirer had been in Delhi all the time when Gandhi was meeting with Viceroy Lord Irwin to iron out the specifics of the famous Delhi pact. One gets a sample of the hectic life that Gandhi lead in his life whose days start at 4 in the morning no matter what time he goes to sleep. Readers get glimpses of many of Gandhi's qualities from Shirer's memoir; Gandhi's boundless optimism even when things are in the dire straits (when asked by a reporter about the efficacy of his forthcoming trip to London on the eve of departing for round table conference on a very unfavorable atmosphere for discussing the possibilities of political concessions, Gandhi said, "I don't know. I am just going to ask them freedom".), his unlimited energy (Shirer was so amazed at seeing Gandhi who came back at 1'o clock in the morning from a meeting with Irwin after walking four miles from viceroy palace to his ashram, the distance he always walked except a few times when viceroy sent his car, spending another one hour at spinning before waking up at 4'o clock for his usual morning prayers), punctuality (he has seldom broke or delayed his morning and evening prayer meetings. Even while he was meeting with viceroy conversing matters pertaining to nation building, Gandhi took leave from viceroy and went back by walk four miles to his ashram to conduct his prayer meeting and then came back and continued where they left off. One another occasion during roundtable conference, he took off during the middle of an important negotiation to have his daily prayer on the corridors of House of Commons since going back to his ashram was an impossibility!). Shirer agrees that even at his younger age, he could not keep up with Gandhi's pace when he used to go with him during his morning walk.

To Shirer Gandhi once said that he will live up to see India winning its freedom and asked Shirer to bet on it. Gandhi was neither in a fool's paradise nor brimming with an unrealistic optimism when he made this prediction. The year was 1930. Gandhi was very well aware that British can't hold on to India for long owing to their increasing unpopularity, crumbling financial situations back in England, looming war prospects in Europe etc. The slowing pace of the freedom struggle after the failure of the first round table conference and the deteriorating health of Gandhi proved at times that Shirer was going to win the bet, but history had something else in its stock that Shirer `happily came to know' later though he lost his bet.

He watched Gandhi's composed countenance during their conversations, during Gandhi's conversation with others and during prayer meetings with astonishment even when things were going against him. Only time when Shirer thought Gandhi's composure was shaken was when the handpicked delegates of viceroy stood in the way of a unified India proposal during the round table conference.

Shirer also shares with readers his few meetings with Jinnah, in whom he saw a rebel and an impatient aristocratic politician. Jinnah's western upbringings and sole-politics approach without any commitments to the communal issues of the people were directly opposite to Gandhi's background and his involvement with the masses. Jinnah, a western minded, who enjoyed liquor and posh life and clean-cut beef had never been a match to the pious saint-clad politician Gandhi. If it was not for his contempt for Gandhi and Nehru, he would had never staged a come back into active politics in 1931 after having left for London to continue his law practice upon the non-acceptance of his 14-points-proposal to safeguard the interests of Muslims in a Hindu majority self-governed India by the delegates of Indian national congress three years before.

Shirer has given yet more accounts of Gandhi's unlimited enthusiasm and energy during his meetings with Viceroy in India's summer capital Simla. Unlike Irwin, the new viceroy Willingdon was more hard-lined and he took a sterner stance with Gandhi. Gandhi had to either opt for human-rickshaws or walk twelve miles to meet with viceroy since the viceroy denied Gandhi access to his personal car, a convenience that Gandhi sometimes availed from the previous viceroy. Gandhi in his usual manner, without even a slightest objection but with heavy enthusiasm walked all the twelve miles from where he is staying to the viceroy bunglove through cross country roads that were filled with puddles from heavy rains often arriving at viceroy palace fully drenched instead of choosing to become a burden to his own countrymen. However, the rain did not dampen down his political demands to the viceroy.

When Gandhi was in London, he had been invited by none other than the King George V to his palace, Buckingham and he went to see him in his loincloth! When asked by a reporter whether seeing the King in a loin-cloth was a good idea, he quipped: "the king was wearing enough for us both". Shirer gives Gandhi's stay in London in details; his desperate moments in London round table conference, his meetings with prominent political leaders, deans of colleges, mill workers and owners, school students, even passers by and all but Winston Churchill who refused to see Gandhi. It was during this time that Gandhi had given his only speech addressed for American audience, which was broadcasted live.

Gandhi always believed that propaganda was must to win freedom for India. His agitation of masses of India, his abundance writings, his reliance on reporters, his excessive travel and speeches, and above all his image, a figure in loin-cloth, were all designed by him as part of this propaganda theme for one ultimate objective, freedom for India. When British did not permit any foreign journalists to come to London to report the proceedings of round table conference, Gandhi arranged a ticket for Shirer to travel from Paris to London with him to report the same.

By taking the readers through his memoir by postponing the most controversial chapter of Gandhi's life, his `Brahmacharical' experiments with girls, towards the end, Shirer was clearly delineating Gandhi's true greatness from a few controversies that cast a shadow on his later life. Gandhi had given elaborate explanations on these `controversial' experiments, which were never done in secrecy, to the readers of his journals. For Gandhi these experiments were all part of his `experiments with the truth' like many others that he had been experimenting all through his life with no malicious intentions whatsoever. However, Nirmal Kumar Bose (who was once his secretary and left Gandhi when he came to know about his experiments) and others that was enough for stirring much of controversy, whereas the girls with whom he shared his bed never spoke ill of Gandhi and only considered him as their own `mother'. I would say that the propensity of human beings is to search for filth and in the life of Gandhi also, what Bose and others did is searching that filth which was never existed. In his memoir, Shirer, perplexed by the extent to which Gandhi had taken his experiments, was trying to find some answers that had always eluded his mental capacity and reasoning abilities as had happened to many of the west.

Shirer was not to blame. Gandhi is no an easy man of intelligence and not many in west can clearly understand many connotations of his life political, spiritual or religious unless the significance of many spiritual and religious practices of the East can properly be understood (check out Richard Grenier's `Gandhi nobody knows' for a shining example). Even many in east really have no deeper understanding of some of these practices such as Brahmacharya, religious fasting, kundalini, higher consciousness, enlightenment etc., and without such knowledge a proper understanding of Gandhi is ever going to remain as a distant dream.

Gandhi once told that he is a politician masquerading as a saint, but the history shows the other way. For millions of people in India he was a saint and messenger sent by god down to earth for the welfare of millions of half-naked, ill-nourished millions of poor people of India who soil and toil in the hot sun to make a living. Gandhi miserably failed wherever he mixed religion and politics. For congress members, he was a political poplar without whom they knew the congress body would cease to work as a political mouthpiece of India. Shirer's book gives many accounts of incidents and events supporting this very fact while he was in India. In many ways Gandhi could only be seen as a saint than as a astute political, by his principles and teachings, way of life and his adherence to the teachings of Geetha and Ramayana. But what makes Gandhi different from other saints was his novel idea of putting the working mind of a saint into practice (not without failures) instead of letting it rot by the carefree life in the hermits. For his mixing of politics and religion, he has given this statement, "But though by disclaiming sainthood I disappoint the critic's expectations. I would have him given up his regrets by answering him that the politician in me has never dominated a single decision of mine, and if I seem to take part in politics, it is only because politics encircle us today like the coil of a snake from which one cannot get out, no matter how much one tries...Quite selfishly, as I wish to live in peace in the midst of a bellowing howling around me, I have been experimenting with myself and my friends by introducing religion into politics". His intention was never to establish a theocratic nation though he often spoke about `Rama Rajyam'. A more detailed discussion of this topic is beyond the scope of this review.

Though Shirer could not agree, or rather not understood Gandhi on many topics, he learned from him among many other things that a man can be a man even when he disagree and love has a prominent place in all kinds of relations including in politics. One could surprise how a few months of acquaintance with Gandhi could create such a lasting impression on Shirer. He later said, that was the power of love and truth. Even when mesmerized by the powerful character of Gandhi, Shirer was able to keep the very delicate balance between admiration and adoration, may be that was demanded of him by his job. Years later, when in America, hearing the news of the assassination, Shirer seemed to have lost that balance and only then he started seeing the real meaning of `Gandhi'. In the later years of his life, while writing this memoir, he was pondering over how helpful were his teachings for him at his life's many precarious moments. What attracted people towards Gandhi, as Shirer correctly pointed out, was his warmth in relations, his genuine openness and simplicity.