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Gandhi & Churchill: The Epic Rivalry that Destroyed an Empire and Forged Our Age Paperback – April 28, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
For many decades Gandhi and Churchill (but they were not the only players, as the author makes clear in great detail) struggled over what India was and what India would become. In the end, according to Herman, neither man's vision prevailed.
This is a very critical dual portrait, not easy on either man, and if both emerge, from time to time, as large sized, it is not because the author intends to spare them. On occasionI found myself wrestling with the author's judgments, not completely satisfied with the interpretations, not sure that there isn't more to be said on one side or the other. Interpretive histories can be more or less persuasive, and I found this one very useful, with lots of new information, but--well, we are allowed to reserve judgment. The author seems to suggest that each man, in his own way, scuttled the possibility of a united India containing Hindus and Moslems together, an India emerging without the birth pangs of massacre and attrocity.Read more ›
In this book,two themes run concurrently:the British Empire's fin-de-siecle and the rise of India as an independent nation.Although of different backgrounds,both political giants-Churchill and Gandhi- seem to have been much alike.On the one hand, this book gives plenty of evidence about Churchill's effort to keep the Jewel of the British Empire no matter what the cost, while on the other hand, Gandhi- as shown here-has done almost anything to undermine Churchill's aspirations.In a very long but fascinating book, Arthur Herman has depicted the two rivals by showing their strong and weak points.Many other personalities make their appearance on this political stage,such as :General Kitchener,Rabindranath Tagore,Franklin Roosevelt,Jawarhalal Nehru,Clement Attlee and others.As Mr Herman points out,both men enjoyed moments of glory but were also flawed.He tells a wonderful tale about one of the most fascinating yet violent periods of contemporary history.This book shows that there were many dark sides in the course of the British history and the Amritsar act of butchering helpless Indians is just one example.The final result of this showdown between Churchill and Gandhi was the rise of India and the demise of the British Empire with grave consequences for both sides.While at some point Churchill was out of touch with the historical reality,Gandhi has not hesitated to sacrifice millions of his fellowmen in pursuit of his dream and in some ways he was extremely naive when interpreting some political events.Read more ›
Herman has a number of things to say about both men. He spends about equal time with each, discussing the central issues of their lives and how the other person fit into each stage of the history of the 20th Century. For instance, when he's talking about Churchill, Herman recounts his attitude towards Indian independence and towards Gandhi personally. The book also works as a history of the latter part of the British Raj in India, from approximately the turn of the century to independence. There's a lot of interesting stuff in here, including the fact that Churchill's time "in the wilderness" during the run-up to World War II may have been due to his attitude towards India (he opposed independence resolutely) as much as his opposition to Hitler and appeasement. Gandhi comes across as a naïve idealist who thought he could create a country where everyone worked a spinning wheel and there were no factories, who made speeches that set off riots, but always seemed to think he was only encouraging non-violence.
I enjoyed this book a great deal. It's long, and there's a lot of material here, but it's very informative and has a different take on things. I would recommend it highly.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Amazing book never thought could read a book like this but curious as my Grandfather fought in the Boer War and my father in WWII this surely is an astounding book with millions... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Veronica
I read only 60 pages and turned the book back into the library so my rating can be ignored. However there are reasons I was put off. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Kevin Osborne
Two of the most iconic figures of the 20th century, Gandhi and Churchill met only once, but spent much of their lives locked in a battle over the future of India, a battle that... Read morePublished 3 months ago by FictionFan
I learnt Ghandi was wrong most of the time and Chuchhill a true liberalPublished 4 months ago by Leif Blumenau
I felt curious to listen to this 30 hr audible version based on the title.I wanted to understand British political thought process during the Indian independence struggle. Read morePublished 5 months ago by P. Rao
Fascinating, yet solid scholarship. Along the way, a compact history of colonialism.Published 8 months ago by Bill
This is a good book, the author Arthur Herman does a good job. It is hard to believe that he does not mention Mr. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Ishwar
very interesting and easy to read as the author's writing is excellentPublished 13 months ago by Mp P. Wood