Book Review: The Man Before the Mahatma

Is history the product of strong-minded individuals who impose their will on the forces of society? Or is it the product of the forces of society that impose themselves on individuals? Or, as many think, are there any clear lines?

Mahatma Gandhi does not need any introduction. But a shy and timid Mohandas Gandhi, who at the age of eighteen had left his home in Gujarat for a life on his own: perhaps does. It is most likely that nobody noticed him when he had arrived on the S.S. Clyde on September 29, 1988 in England to study law. Yet, when he returns to India at forty-five, he is a confident and fearless Gandhi, ready to boldly lead his country to freedom. The Man would soon turn into the Mahatma.

In this first biography of Gandhi’s life in law, author Charles DiSalvo brings to light the socio-political causes and influences that coupled with his personal values had changed the lawyer's life forever: transforming an ordinary man into the extraordinary, the Mahatma, as we know him. The Man Before the Mahatma follows Gandhi's career as a lawyer – law studies in Britain, practice in India, enormous success representing wealthy Indian merchants in South Africa, where relentless attacks on Indian rights by the colonial authorities caused him to give up his lucrative representation of private clients for public work – the representation of the besieged Indian community in south Africa. The book identifies and explores the roots of his ideas of non violence, organized resistance and civil disobedience.

This is a thoroughly researched work and invaluable for the serious reader who would love to witness how an ordinary man had transformed into one of the greatest heroes in History.

Author:Charles DiSalvo
Publisher:Random House India
Date of Publication:2012
Number of Pages:Approx 460 with cover

The Man Before the Mahatma is a collector's item. I had received the review copy from Random House India. Thank you Rukun for giving me this opportunity. You can buy this book at  flipkart in case you live in India. You can also find the lowest price of this book in India at

You may also like similar reviews available in the archive

0 Thoughts:

Share a thought