Mahatma Gandhi: Nonviolent Power in Action
Featuring a new preface by the author, this book moves from the birth of Gandhi´s method of nonviolent resistance in South Africa to an in-depth analysis of two of his signal triumphs: the civil disobedience movement of 1930 and his historic Calcutta fast of 1947. By focusing on these critical years, Dalton makes it clear that political leadership and a lifelong career in national politics gave Gandhi an opportunity to develop and refine his ideas and to test and perfect his ideals. The book concludes with a comparison of Gandhi to Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X, confirming Gandhi´s relevance to the study of race and political leadership in America.
REVIEWS:"In a study of interest primarily to academics, Dalton, a professor of political science at Manhattan's Barnard College, describes how Gandhi's work in South Africa and India helped him develop the subtle relationship between swaraj (freedom as self-rule or self-control) and satyagraha (nonviolent force born of truth and love). The author elucidates the criticisms of Gandhi by such contemporaries as Rabindranath Tagore and M. N. Roy, pointing out that neither man found a way to connect freedom and power as Gandhi did in his 24-day protest march in 1930 against the British tax on salt in India, and in his 1947 fast in response to communal violence in Calcutta. Dalton offers an intriguing chapter comparing Gandhi, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr., and suggests that while King embodied Gandhi's tactics and Malcolm X traveled a similar journey of personal emancipation, neither managed to combine both swaraj and satyagraha. Dalton concludes by reflecting how Gandhi's example proves that political life can include ideals and truth."
"What a refreshing study of Gandhi's political thought! Void of the usual psychological mumbo jumbo, this book presents an intellectually satisfying analysis of the Gandhian concepts of satyagraha and swaraj, of their interconnection, and of their application in his quest for Indian independence. Tracing the origins of Gandhi's ideals in ancient Vedic texts and in the body of Western philosophy, Dalton (political science, Barnard) demonstrates Gandhi's first tentative use of satyagraha, the power of truth and love, in nonviolent protests in South Africa and then with increasing confidence in India in the 1930s. Here Gandhi linked satyagraha with swaraj, self-rule or self-restraint, to push forward his case against British Imperial rule. Dalton's focus on Gandhi's salt march of 1930 and his fast of 1946 in Calcutta illustrate with great clarity these principles. Although admiring Gandhi, Dalton eschews his canonization for a clear, thoughtful study, the best in recent years."
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
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, Malcolm, and Martin
Conclusion: Gandhi’s Contribution from Various Angles
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