Gandhi & Churchill: The Epic Rivalry That Destroyed an Empire and Forged Our Age

Arthur Herman, Author . Bantam $30 (736p) ISBN 978-0-553-80463-8

Historian Herman (How the Scots Invented the Modern World ) paints a forceful portrait of the emergence of the postcolonial era in the fateful contrast—and surprising affinities—between two historic figures on opposite sides of the struggle for Indian independence. Churchill and Gandhi, both elites in their respective milieus, began their careers with remarkably similar perspectives and trod intersecting paths across India, South Africa and England. They shared an obsession with physical courage (albeit channeled in different ways) that tied conceptions of masculinity to larger ideas of racial identity and moral superiority—and India loomed large in their triumphal careers, ultimately frustrating both men’s idealism. While Herman’s dual biography artfully depicts the personalities of the two men, he gives short shrift to the more complex forces of British imperial decline, Indian nationalism and the emergence of the postwar order (for example, Herman helpfully but also too neatly explains the dogged centrality of India and the British raj in Churchill’s worldview as an act of filial loyalty to his beloved father) But the author also takes careful account of the constellation of modern and antimodern currents of late Victorian thought in situating these vastly influential figures in a fascinating narrative of their times. (May)

Reviewed on: 03/10/2008
Release date: 04/01/2008
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 569 pages - 978-0-553-90504-5
Paperback - 718 pages - 978-0-553-38376-8
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4561-0657-7
Paperback - 721 pages - 978-0-09-949344-0
Open Ebook - 736 pages - 978-1-4090-6363-6
Paperback - 736 pages - 978-0-09-192132-3
Show other formats
Discover what to read next