Thursday, June 26, 2008

Gandhi - An Autobiography - Review

A very long time ago, my friend Betsie loaned me this book. It sat and sat on my shelf until I finally got around to reading it. By the time I finished, she had returned to the USA, and I thought I had borrowed it from Jackie. Oops. I'll have to mail it to her when I get back to Korea.
Well, I finally finished it about a month ago. But I have to say, though, I was pretty disappointed.
I was expecting to read the story of his struggles of nonviolence and his personal commitment to equality with the poor. However, there was only a little bit of narrative in this direction. There was chapter after chapter, though, about his dietary expiriments to bring him closer to God. These, of course, did not connect with me in the least. However, they were very important for him because he was trying to root out all desire (including urges for good food and sex).
On the upside, I have increased knowledge of and respect for Gandhi as a person who relentlessly pursued truth and goodness. As he discussed his Hindu faith, sometimes the words sounded uncannily like the words Christians use to describe our faith. At the least I am interested in reading more from or about Gandhi. My dad gave me a biography of Gandhi written by E. Stanley Jones, longtime Christian missionary to India. Maybe I'll pick that up when I get back.
Over all, I'll give it 3J's. It was long and sometimes irrelevant to my interests, but it is also the direct words of one of the greatest men of the past 100 years.

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