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An Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments With Truth [Kindle Edition]

Mohandas K. Gandhi , Mahadev Desai , Mahadev Desai
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (186 customer reviews)

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Book Description

This is Gandhi's autobiography covering his life from early childhood to approximately 1921. In Gandhi's own words: "I simply want to tell the story of my numerous experiments with truth, and as my life consists of nothing but those experiments, it is true that the story will take the shape of an autobiography. But I shall not mind, if every page of it speaks only of my experiments . . . I should certainly like to narrate my experiments in the spiritual field which are known only to myself, and from which I have derived such power as I posses for working in the political field . . . If I had only to discuss academic principles. I should clearly not attempt an autobiography. But my purpose being to give an account of various practical applications of these principles, I have given the chapters I propose to write the title of The Story of My Experiments with Truth. These will of course include experiments with non-violence, celibacy and other principles of conduct believed to be distinct from truth."


Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Gandhi's nonviolent struggles in South Africa and India had already brought him to such a level of notoriety, adulation, and controversy that when asked to write an autobiography midway through his career, he took it as an opportunity to explain himself. Although accepting of his status as a great innovator in the struggle against racism, violence, and, just then, colonialism, Gandhi feared that enthusiasm for his ideas tended to exceed a deeper understanding. He says that he was after truth rooted in devotion to God and attributed the turning points, successes, and challenges in his life to the will of God. His attempts to get closer to this divine power led him to seek purity through simple living, dietary practices (he called himself a fruitarian), celibacy, and ahimsa, a life without violence. It is in this sense that he calls his book The Story of My Experiments with Truth, offering it also as a reference for those who would follow in his footsteps. A reader expecting a complete accounting of his actions, however, will be sorely disappointed.

Although Gandhi presents his episodes chronologically, he happily leaves wide gaps, such as the entire satyagraha struggle in South Africa, for which he refers the reader to another of his books. And writing for his contemporaries, he takes it for granted that the reader is familiar with the major events of his life and of the political milieu of early 20th-century India. For the objective story, try Yogesh Chadha's Gandhi: A Life. For the inner world of a man held as a criminal by the British, a hero by Muslims, and a holy man by Hindus, look no further than these experiments. --Brian Bruya

Review

Gandhi's nonviolent struggles in South Africa and India had already brought him to such a level of notoriety, adulation, and controversy that when asked to write an autobiography midway through his career, he took it as an opportunity to explain himself. Although accepting of his status as a great innovator in the struggle against racism, violence, and, just then, colonialism, Gandhi feared that enthusiasm for his ideas tended to exceed a deeper understanding. He says that he was after truth rooted in devotion to God and attributed the turning points, successes, and challenges in his life to the will of God. His attempts to get closer to this divine power led him to seek purity through simple living, dietary practices (he called himself a fruitarian), celibacy, and ahimsa, a life without violence. It is in this sense that he calls his book The Story of My Experiments with Truth, offering it also as a reference for those who would follow in his footsteps. A reader expecting a complete accounting of his actions, however, will be sorely disappointed. --Amazon.com

Product Details

  • File Size: 640 KB
  • Print Length: 464 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Formax Publishing (August 27, 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001EWEB5I
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #88,658 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great work by Great Man December 21, 1998
Format:Paperback
This book should not be read for literary purposes. It will come as an disppointment for people who expect poetry or prose in their readings. My idea was to learn more about Gandhi and I was very satified as this book nearly accomplished that for me. This book is as simple to read as the man himself. Gandhi tells us most sincerely and honestly that he would not have been what he became, if it was not for certain events that changed his life. Even in his writings Gandhi reflects his modesty and simplicity. He does not fall short of acknowledging his weaknesses and his wrongs. Great philosphy right out of the mind of the great philospher!
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52 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Gold! May 6, 2000
Format:Paperback
Well, we all follow "the experts" (although at 48, I am beginning to learn). We all follow the authorities. What would happen if one just kept a totally blank mind toward everything and learned from just plain LIVING. Gandhi makes it clear at the beginning of the book that this is the only way to gain truth. Not to be strongly influenced by others. His agreements and fondness of other theologians really only comes after his experiments. They have to agree with him first. As you begin to read this book, you are on a jouney. It's like being a Martian or being from another planet simply because Gandhi will simply not take anything as truth unless he has experimented with it himself. He was very much the spiritual scientist. This book is also very easy reading. The chapters are short enough to stop and come back to as well. And it is journey which Gandhi makes clear that anybody can follow. You can't really follow this man's experiments. He wants you to do your own experiments. So this book is really quite an adventure. Gandhi's politics, as he makes clear in this book, really stem from his experiments in truth. You can begin yourself. Wake up, tell your wife she is fat, and see what happens! Gandhi came to the conclusion of always practicing "ahimsa". He would practice it over and over again to see if it worked. And he came to the conclusion that it did. As he once said, "Ahimsa is heaven". Ahimsa means non-violence in thought, word, and deed. One can still defend oneself while loving one's enemy. He saw "satya", or truth as synonymous with non-violance. This man stole at one point, eat meat, was far from celibacy. Buy and read this fabulous scientific inquiry into "How to Live". Then start experimenting for yourself. Good luck on your journey. And please be careful! Gandhi nearly killed himself SMOKING!
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary Book Written by an Extraordinary Man December 1, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I have always admired Mr. Gandhi, but really knew very little about him. This book tells of his early life, something most biographies skip choosing to focus on his life in India.
Great historical detail of colonial India, living in England and South Africa. A must read for anyone interested in Mr. Gandhi or that period of history.
The book has also influenced greatly the way I view life. A very spiritually uplifting book, even for non-Hindus.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Horrendous Kindle edition November 6, 2011
By Rick
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Want to read this book, but the Kindle edition for sale here is plain awful and clearly was not edited or proofread. It is rife with misspellings, formatting errors, and random line breaks in the middle of sentences. Oh well -- I should have checked out the sample first, but for 0.99 cents it seemed like a no-brainer. I suppose if you really want a cheap version, it could suffice, but I will either be looking for a hard-copy or getting it somewhere else.
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of those books that can profoundly affect you October 4, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I have had misgivings about Gandhi, his thoughts, and his actions. I believe, after I have read this book, that unfortunately, I had a very superficial knowledge about this great person. I still do not agree with many of his policies, do not see him as absolutely infallible, and certainly do not wish to deify him. However, these views have been instilled in me by Gandhi himself as he points out in this marvellous book, that he does not think that he is always correct. He mentions, time and again, that what he says and does, is only his opinion. But he sincerely practices what he preaches, and shares his ideas with all of us in the hope of making the world better. His humility, straight-forwardness, and love of truth touches us all. A truly great man and a very inspiring book.
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24 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Meet Gandhi, the man. July 7, 2000
Format:Paperback
Unlike a couple readers below, I was pleasantly surprised to find this a very readable and well-written story. I felt like I was meeting the great reformer in person, with no interpreters or spin doctors between us.
Gandhi surprised me with his transparency. He honestly expresses doubts about (or limited awareness of) God, his own weaknesses, and the mistreatment of women in Hinduism. He frankly relates quarrels with his wife ("numerous bickerings" that end in peace, with the wife the victor -- I wonder about that part, though) and that his son disagreed with his ascetic lifestyle. I gave this book five stars not because I agree with all of Gandhi's ideas, but because he explains them well, the stories he tells are so interesting, because the search for truth is what life is all about, and because Gandhi is one of the great figures of the 20th Century.
A couple years ago I did a research paper on the young Mao Zedong. One thing that surprised me here was to find that, despite their very different attitudes about violence, the fathers of the world's two biggest modern states shared much in common. Both agreed that "the life of labor is the only life worth living," and founded communes with friends as young men. Both strengthened themselves through ascetic self-disciplines. Both were men of contemplation and action. Both shared an ambivalent relation to the party that was the vehicle of their success, yet were also masters at the use of power. Both freed their countries from foreign domination over many decades, by use of dialectic strategy and an appeal to the peasants.
Gandhi was a man of ideas and of action, and also I think of passion, despite his philosophical commitment to "desirelessness.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended for all looking to understand and get the better picture...
A well written book with facts and opinions explained in context of situation. This book made me re-think of a lot of ideas I earlier has about Gandhi. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Ashish
5.0 out of 5 stars Thanks, Gandhiji
Gandhiji has penned his story well. Its been 60 + years since then on...........
Published 6 days ago by Anand
5.0 out of 5 stars Book is awesome and unbelievably true to know insides of one of ...
Book is awesome and unbelievably true to know insides of one of the greatest persons of the History. Kindle version is very very good. Read more
Published 12 days ago by sreenivasaraju
4.0 out of 5 stars Overall OK but a bit wordy.
An overall good account of Gandhi and his thoughts and feelings. I found the text a bit long winded. The print in this particular edition is not the most pleasant to read.
Published 1 month ago by Neil G.
5.0 out of 5 stars good
Excellant.surprised to read experiments carried out......sleeping with naked women
Surprised about comments by Gandhi,s comments to Jewish people regards celibacy
Published 1 month ago by satyagraha
5.0 out of 5 stars You have to read it at least 3 times to ...
You have to read it at least 3 times to understand things that he really experienced. It will build your character.
Published 1 month ago by apl anytime
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
One of my favorite Books, Ever!
Published 1 month ago by B. J. Moore
5.0 out of 5 stars Gandhi evolved me through the mere reading of his words
Written in a difficult English style this book requires patience and some extra knowledge of the related subject matter to follow the train of his thought through the many ideas he... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Bernie G
4.0 out of 5 stars It offered a great learning curve of many things that have been left...
I found this book quite astonishing considering it was written in the 1920's and it gave me an insight to Ghandi, the troubles in India and South Africa and British... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Carsim
5.0 out of 5 stars love
I read this book a long time ago, I got it so I can read it again, love it
Published 2 months ago by mohini
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