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Gandhi and the Unspeakable: His Final Experiment with Truth Hardcover – January 27, 2012

4.9 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

A slim, elegant volume containing explosive insight into who conspired to assassinate the father of modern nonviolence and why. . . No other contemporary writer is exposing the mechanics of assassination as methodically and bravely as Douglass. But because he is a Catholic scholar and activist most well-known for his writings on nonviolence and suffering, this book is more than a fresh look at historical circumstances: it s spiritual spelunking into the depravity of unchecked political power. -- --Publisher's Weekly

Well argued, documented, and very revealing. --Arun Gandhi, President, Gandhi Worldwide Education Institute, Rochester, NY

Jim Douglass deeply researched little masterpiece based on Gandhi s faith in nonviolence and his assassins misguided philosophy is an eloquent story of the two conflicting philosophies that humankind faces today and makes us pause and think. --Narayan Desai, author, My Life is My Message --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

James W. Douglass, a long-time scholar and peace activist, is the author of many books, including JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters, widely acclaimed as one of the most important books ever written on the subject. He lives in Birmingham, Alabama.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Orbis Books (January 27, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570759634
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570759635
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,478,596 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By Michael D. True on February 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This remarkable study of Gandhi, by a major nonviolent activist, provides accurate historical information informed by the author's personal experience in resisting injustice and violence over the past four decades. It tells the story of Gandhi's confronting a fear of death, at the time of the first attempt on his life in South Africa, before he returned to India to lead the movement for independence. He will face death several more times, eventually assassinated by a Hindu radical who hoped to destroy Gandhi's vision of peace, nonviolence, and reconciliation. This book resonates with Douglass' powerful study of the "unspeakable" forces, as Thomas Merton named them, that led to the assassinations of John Kennedy, Malcolm X, Robert Kennedy, and Martin Luther King. Douglass alerts us to the corrupting influence of nationalism and fundamentalism that can lead to terrorism and murder by individuals and by the State. Highly recommended for anyone interested in peace, conflict, and nonviolece studies, as well as for the general reader.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Those readers of the JFK book referenced in the title will also treasure this next installment, in what I understand will be a five book exploration of the Unspeakable (ie, Ghandi, JFK, Malcolm X, MLK & RFK). We can be grateful that Jim Douglass' meticulous research and deep understanding of the 'why' in all of these tragically seminal events in our recent history affords all of us something with which we can change our lives, and our world. Knowledge is the golden key, and instead of fear we can find hope through our understanding. No small feat that, given the tragedies of post-WWII world (and primarily American) history. A treasure, pure & simple.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book will be no surprise to readers of Jim Douglass' "JFK and the Unspeakable," but in its deeper message, found in the life-long commitment Gandhi made to prepare to die rather than to give in to violence to liberate his country, we find a model of what it takes to live in peace. The book also offers a crash course in Indian politics which helps us to understand that country today as a rising economy, a nuclear power, and, unfortunately, a nation which long ago abandoned the guidance of "the father of their country."
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Format: Hardcover
I agree with the three five-star reviews that proceed this review.

While reading the book, I found myself grappling to understand the many nuanced meanings of the term, "Unspeakable." I see several:

1) Political realities that we fear to speak of, such as the 1963 coup d'etat in the United States or the fact that Gandhi's legacy in Indian politics has waned while the influence of his killers has grown,

2) The unspeakable horror of nuclear war,

3) The unspeakable terror we all feel in the face of our inevitable mortality,

4) The unspeakable evil that drives men to murder or prepare for nuclear war.

5) Douglass also struggles to speak of a power greater than politics, nuclear bombs, death, and evil-- the unspeakable peace that Rama found by killing Ravana in himself.

But Douglass is not Hindu, and he will not speak "Rama" with his dying breath. He worships the cross-- not only the empty cross of Christ resurrected, but the cross bearing the body of the crucified Jesus. Thus his interest in political assassinations.

We live in the midst of unspeakable horror and unspeakable mystery. Douglass speaks of both.
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