Mahatma Gandhi

Nonviolent Power in Action

Dennis Dalton. With a new preface, afterword, and chronology by the author

Columbia University Press

Mahatma Gandhi

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Pub Date: February 2012

ISBN: 9780231159593

336 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $32.00£26.95

Pub Date: February 2012

ISBN: 9780231159586

336 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $90.00£74.95

Pub Date: February 2012

ISBN: 9780231530392

336 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $31.99£26.95

Mahatma Gandhi

Nonviolent Power in Action

Dennis Dalton. With a new preface, afterword, and chronology by the author

Columbia University Press

Dennis Dalton's classic account of Gandhi's political and intellectual development focuses on the leader's two signal triumphs: the civil disobedience movement (or salt satyagraha) of 1930 and the Calcutta fast of 1947. Dalton clearly demonstrates how Gandhi's lifelong career in national politics gave him the opportunity to develop and refine his ideals. He then concludes with a comparison of Gandhi's methods and the strategies of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, drawing a fascinating juxtaposition that enriches the biography of all three figures and asserts Gandhi's relevance to the study of race and political leadership in America. Dalton situates Gandhi within the "clash of civilizations" debate, identifying the implications of his work on continuing nonviolent protests. He also extensively reviews Gandhian studies and adds a detailed chronology of events in Gandhi's life.
In this masterly analysis, Dalton shows how Gandhi's vision of a good life expressed itself in political action. Dalton has very wisely included what one seldom finds in books on Gandhi: examples of the trenchant criticism of his methods and his ideas that were made by Indian contemporaries. Ainslie T. Embree, Columbia University
A beautiful, fine-grained piece of historical and textual research; cool, committed, and convincing in an intellectual terrain strewn with excessively passionate convictions. Dalton 'shows' rather than tells, through a meticulous examination of official speeches and administrative responses, the deep doubts about the legitimacy of their acts that Gandhi implanted in the minds of the highest and lowest British officials. Dalton also shows how the Mahatma's public enactment of self-sacrifice and renunciation demonstrated an efficacy not granted in conventional political acts within the context of religious viciousness and killing: lessons for Gandhi's era and ours. Susanne Hoeber Rudolph, University of Chicago
The product of seasoned research and of several decades of teaching, reading, thinking, and acting on Gandhi's ideas. It is a rich stew, and a feast for those who appreciate careful scholarship and the continuing power of Gandhian thought.... Dalton's book helps to ensure that Gandhi's voice will be heard beyond this generation and this century, and well into the next. Journal of Asian Studies
This is more than a biography or a political history. We are offered a penetrating analysis of Gandhian philosophy as revealed in his most individual operations. English Historical Review
Sensitive, sympathetic, and lucid. Economic and Political Weekly
[Dalton's] new approach to place Gandhi in the context of other major political and social leaders of India, and then assess him as a successful leader, appeared to enhance the methodology of this very well informed and analyzed book, which deserves a place in any good library in the world. Modern Asian Studies
Represents the culmination of decades of research and study... which accounts for Dalton's sureness of touch, cogent handling of ideas, lucid prose, and effortless movement between theory and narrative.... Although it adds important new dimensions to the specialist's understanding of Gandhi, it can also serve as a readable and absorbing introduction to the man. American Historical Review
Dalton eschews his canonization for a clear, thoughtful study. Library Journal
Thoughtful and original. New Statesman
"[Dalton's] valuable insight is that Gandhi's formation of himself as a leader represented a strategy of defense against fear and shame.... The broad scope of references and the command of detail on Indian politics and political theory that the work exhibits bear witness to long and thoughtful research. Political Psychology
A tidy presentation of a sociopolitical vision that seems as fresh and radical today as it did half a century ago. Kirkus
An excellent book. BizIndia
Preface to the 2012 Reissue
Preface
Introduction
1. Satyagraha Meets Swaraj: The Development of Gandhi's Ideas 1896–1917
2. Gandhi as Leader: Nonviolence in Power
3. Critiques of Gandhi from His Contemporaries: Rabindranath Tagore and M.N. Roy
4. Civil Disobedience: The Salt Satyagraha
5. The Calcutta Fast
6. Mohandas
Conclusion: Gandhi's Contribution from Various Angles
Afterword to the 2012 Reissue
Chronology
Notes
Glossary
Bibliography
Index

About the Author

Dennis Dalton was the Ann Whitney Olin Professor of Political Science and is now emeritus at Barnard College, Columbia University. The winner of a Fulbright scholarship and grants from the American Council of Learned Societies and the American Philosophical Institute, he is the author of Indian Idea of Freedom: Political Thought of Swami Vivekananda, Aurobindo Ghose, Mahatma Gandhi, and Rabindranath Tagore and editor of Mahatma Gandhi: Selected Political Writings.