Friday, March 13, 2015

Gandhi: Fighter Without a Sword, by Jeanette Eaton

OK, it's time for a bit of a confession.  My understanding of world history, and particularly that of Asia, is severely lacking.  It wasn't part of the school curriculum and, lacking exposure, it wasn't something that I explored myself, either.  So if you'd asked me a week ago who Gandhi was, I couldn't have told you much beyond the fact that he was some Indian guy who was really peaceful.  I couldn't have even told you roughly when he lived, beyond the general sense that he's not alive now.  Pretty embarrassing, I know.

Just the same, I wasn't sure whether I'd find this book interesting when I picked it up.  Jeannette Eaton and I have had our difficulties in the past.  The cover is not remotely exciting, although completely accurate.  So it was such a pleasant surprise to thoroughly enjoy this book from start to finish.  I know it sounds kind of hyperbolic to use a phrase like "a masterpiece of juvenile biography" but it's really the best one that comes to mind, having completed it.

The book is the perfect introduction to the life of a man who accomplished so much.  It touches on all aspects of his life- culture, family, religion, education, employment, social relationships, daily habits. . . all without overwhelming the reader or brain-dumping facts.  It's all handled very methodically at a reasonable pace.  At the same time, the book engages the reader and helps him develop a genuine interest in the things that concerned Gandhi himself.

The entire volume has just over 250 pages, but covers Gandhi's life beginning as a teenager, all the way through his eventual assassination.  It's a book that I'd sincerely recommend for young readers today, although it wants a newer edition to update some obsolete language.

No comments:

Post a Comment