Gandhi: Selected Political Writings

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Hackett Publishing, 1996 - History - 172 pages
4 Reviews
Based on the complete edition of his works, this new volume presents Gandhi’s most important political writings arranged around the two central themes of his political teachings: satyagraha (the power of non-violence) and swaraj (freedom). Dennis Dalton’s general Introduction and headnotes highlight the life of Gandhi, set the readings in historical context, and provide insight into the conceptual framework of Gandhi’s political theory. Included are bibliography, glossary, and index.

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The Power of Nonviolence
What Is Truth?
The First of August
Is It Unconstitutional?
Civil Disobedience
Duty of Disloyalty
Fasting in Nonviolent Action
Resolution on Fundamental Rights and Economic Changes
HinduMuslim Unity
Speech at Bhagini Samaj Bombay
The Realities

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About the author (1996)

Mohandas Gandhi is well known as a political activist and pacifist who played a key role in achieving India's independence from Great Britain. Although born in Porbandar, India, to parents of the Vaisya (merchant) caste, he was given a modern education and eventually studied law in London. After returning briefly to India, Gandhi went to South Africa in 1893, where he spent the next 20 years working to secure Indian rights. It was during this time that he experimented with and developed his basic philosophy of life. Philosophically, Gandhi is best known for his ideas of satyagraha (truth-force) and ahimsa (nonharming). Intrinsic to the idea of truth-force is the correlation between truth and being; truth is not merely a mental correspondence with reality but a mode of existence. Hence, the power of the truth is not what one argues for but what one is. He developed this idea in conjunction with the principle of nonviolence, showing in his nationalist activities that the force of truth, expressed nonviolently, can be an irresistible political weapon against intolerance, racism, and social violence. Although his basic terminology and conceptual context were Hindu, Gandhi was impressed by the universal religious emphasis on the self-transformative power of love, drawing his inspiration from Christianity, Western philosophy, and Islam as well.

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