In this book, first published by OUP USA in 1973, Professor Iyer elucidates the central concepts in the moral and political thought of Mahatma Gandhi, bringing out the subtlety, potency, and universal importance of his concepts of truth and non-violence, freedom and obligation, and his view of the relation between means and ends in politics.
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(217mm x 139mm x 23mm)
Publisher: OUP India
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US Kirkus Review »
This work seeks to elucidate the conceptual foundations of the moral and political thought of Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi's concepts of satya (truth) and ahimsa (nonviolence) are shown to lie at the heart of his entire philosophy. He visualized the establishment of a radically different social and political order but he was even more concerned to develop a revolutionary technique of political action within the bounds of the existing system. Immediate resistance to injustice and coercion as well as the blueprint for change in the long run must alike be legitimated in terms of the absolutes of truth and nonviolence. These twin values produced Gandhi's doctrine of satyagraha or active resistance to authority, and sarvodaya or nonviolent socialism. Iyer has an evident skill for epitomizing complex ideas and for cutting deep below the surface to their assumptions. As a result, the exposition is comprehensive in scope and conscientious in its attention to detail. But beyond the systematic concern with concepts, their filiation, and their relation to Western counterparts, the author neglects the connection between Gandhi's ideas and his life-history in both its social and psychological aspects. After many long and sometimes dense pages of exegesis, we are unable to relate Gandhi's thought to the distinctive contexts of biography, history, and social structure. (Kirkus Reviews)
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