LEAD, KINDLY LIGHT: Gandhi & The Way to Peace by Vincent Sheean

LEAD, KINDLY LIGHT: Gandhi & The Way to Peace

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This was originally reported in the January 15th bulletin. Postponement as Book of the Month Club selection for August will inevitably mean the impetus of special publicity and greater sales. The report follows:- ""A descriptive blurb on the jacket is misleading. I think, for while one can accept the first sentence, the conclusion drawn in the second is not what I should say Vincent Sheean suggests. 'Gandhi's life, work and teaching were for the whole world'- yes; but- if I read him correctly, he does not then follow through to suggest that the 'terrifying weapon of non-violence might be used to free the world'- but rather that the forces for good that Gandhi has demonstrated in his own life should be given a chance to operate in individual lives- and perhaps by so doing, free the world. A book which will surprise many of Sheean's readers, for while his scholarship, his earnestness have already been evidenced, this metaphysical, philosophical aspect of his inner being is only now fully presented. This book is an extraordinarily penetrating study and analysis of the forces that produced Gandhi,- the essence of Hinduism, as religious concepts took on social form, the intermeshing of the caste system in all of India's history and economy, the anthropological and religious base of India's consciousness. Gandhi was a man of his time- and Sheean gives brief biographical notes on the men who were his forerunners,- Shri Aurobindo, metaphysician, philosopher, hermit; Narendranath Dutt, who preached renunciation and service; Vivekananda, the Swami who played a great part in the revival of Hinduism; Ram Mohan Roy, Tagore, Ramakrishna, etc. He analyzes, too, the Gandhi interpretation of the Gita, the steps by which Gandhi became the great leader of his people, the successive clashes with British rule, the two wars, and the extraordinary personal experience in which Vincent Sheean accepted the mystical challenge of his interlude in the garden at the time of Gandhi's death. Not easy reading, but a book that will capture the imagination of those whose interests lie in esoteric and metaphysical fields- and the many who are reaching for guidance.

Pub Date: July 14th, 1949
Publisher: Random House