MAHATMA GANDHI: The Great Soul Immortals of History Series by Emil Lengyel

MAHATMA GANDHI: The Great Soul Immortals of History Series

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KIRKUS REVIEW

'The man in a dhoti'"" wielded power from a bed of nails; Mr. Lengyel has placed him on a pedestal and obscured his significance. The key to Gandhi's complex psychology -- a combination of commitment, wry humor and rare insight -- is provided in his autobiographical writings, which reveal the personal pain that goes into the making of a prophet. The author substitutes his own searching of the Great Soul in a series of speculations about Gandhi's childhood thoughts -- ""he saw all around him,"" ""(he) was particularly entranced by,"" ""he asked his guru about"" -- and those of his parents; he disposes of Gandhi's childhood marriage, a subtle interaction of strong personalities, by saying that the two lived a ""long and happy life together."" Gandhi's career as a public figure and persuader without peer is handled as a scenario without the sidelights that would justify Nehru's telling statement: ""What a magician is this little man, and how well he knows to pull the strings that move peoples hearts!"" Gandhi is a difficult figure for juvenile biography, at best, but Taya Zinkin's The Story of Gandhi comes closer to the truth by staying closer to the sources and spirit of his life.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1966
Publisher: Watts