Gandhi's is an extraordinary and compelling story. Few individuals in history have made so great a mark upon their times. And yet Gandhi never held high political office, commanded no armies and was not even a compelling orator. His 'power' therefore makes a particularly fascinating subject for investigation. David Arnold explains how and why the shy student and affluent lawyer became one of the most powerful anti-colonial figures Western empires in Asia ever faced and why he aroused such intense affection, loyalty (and at times much bitter hatred) among Indians and Westerners alike. Attaching as much influence to the idea and image of Gandhi as to the man himself, Arnold sees Gandhi not just as a Hindu saint but as a colonial subject, whose attitudes and experiences expressed much that was common to countless others in India and elsewhere who sought to grapple with the overwhelming power and cultural authority of the West.