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GANDHI by James  Buckley Jr.


The Peaceful Protester!

From the Show Me History! series

by James Buckley Jr. ; illustrated by Cassie Anderson

Pub Date: Sept. 28th, 2021
ISBN: 978-1-64517-409-7
Publisher: Portable Press

In this graphic biography, Libby (the future Statue of Liberty, depicted as a young Black woman) and the future Uncle Sam (a young White man) narrate the life story of Mohandas K. Gandhi, India’s most famous freedom fighter.

The book begins with Gandhi’s birth in 1860s India, at the time under British rule. Young Gandhi’s highly religious mother instilled in him a dedication to Hinduism that would famously last his entire life. The book continues with a description of Gandhi’s wedding to Kasturba Makanji at the age of 13, his departure to England to study law, and his eventual move to South Africa. In South Africa, Gandhi developed the tactics that would make him famous in India, including the practices of satyagraha and ahimsa—truth seeking and nonviolence, respectively—and the founding of ashrams where he could live a life of simplicity. Following a survey of Gandhi’s leadership in the Indian independence movement, such as the founding of the noncooperation movement and the organization of salt marches, the book ends with Gandhi’s assassination and his influence on civil rights movements throughout modern history. While the book is thorough, it is entirely laudatory, never addressing Gandhi’s well-documented early anti-Blackness or his misogyny. Additionally, while the book mentions leaders Jawaharlal Nehru and Muhammad Ali Jinnah, it mentions no female or Dalit leaders, erasing the contributions of hundreds of freedom fighters who made Indian independence possible. Series companion Frida Kahlo: The Revolutionary Painter! publishes simultaneously.

An uncritical account.

(Graphic biography. 10-15)