Mohandas K. Gandhi’s account of his life from early childhood to 1921 was first published in book form (in two volumes) in Gujarati in the 1920s. The English language version was also first published in that decade in two volumes and then reprinted in 1940 in a single volume. It has never been out of print since. What accounts for its enduring popularity, in multiple editions, nearly a century after it was published?
Writes Gopalkrishna Gandhi in his introduction to this edition: ‘Each generation following him has and will continue to turn to it for more than the sense of fulfilment that comes from what is now called “a great read”.’ He says its ‘passionate power’ comes from its truthfulness, utter honesty, the ‘lucence of its introspections’ and the author’s frank admission of his vulnerabilities.
Most importantly, the book has lost none of its relevance as a ‘moral compass’ that can guide readers who are losing their way in a turbulent and confusing world.
An Autobiography or the Story of My Experiments with Truth by M. K. Gandhi
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