Penguin India launches ‘Gandhi Before India’ by Ramachandra Guha

Oct 2013

Penguin Books India
is delighted to announce
the launch of
one of the most anticipated books of the year

Gandhi Before India
Ramachandra Guha
The most ambitious and insightful work on Gandhi in decades, Gandhi Before India will become the definitive work on the early, formative years of the man who would go on to become the Father of the Nation.
An international lead title for 2013, Gandhi Before India will be published in India on 1 October 2013 under Penguin’s prestigious Allen Lane imprint.

In 1893, when Mohandas Gandhi set sail for South Africa, he was a 23-year-old briefless lawyer who had failed to establish himself in India.
The two decades that he spent in South Africa were to be the making of the Mahatma.

About the Book
In this remarkable biography, Ramachandra Guha argues that Gandhi’s ideas were fundamentally shaped before his return to India in 1915. It was during his years in England and South Africa that he came to understand the nature of imperialism and racism; and it was in South Africa that he forged the philosophy and techniques that would undermine and ultimately destroy the British Empire. 

Based on a wealth of new material, and archival research in four continents, Gandhi Before India presents a vivid portrait of Gandhi and the world he lived in, a world of sharp contrasts between the coastal culture of Gujarat, High Victorian London, and colonial South Africa.
It explores in rich detail his experiments with dissident cults such as Tolstoyans and vegetarians; his friendships with radical Jews, heterodox Christians, and devout Muslims;  his enmities and rivalries; and his failures as a husband and father.
It tells the dramatic, profoundly moving story of how he inspired the devotion of thousands of followers as he mobilized a cross-class and inter-religious coalition, pledged to non-violence in their battle against a brutally racist regime.

This deeply researched and beautifully written book will radically alter our understanding and appreciation of India’s greatest man
About the Author
Ramachandra Guha was raised in Dehradun and educated in Delhi and Kolkata.
Now based in Bangalore, he has previously taught at Yale, Stanford, Oslo, and the London School of Economics.
He has pioneered three distinct fields of historical inquiry: environmental history (as in The Unquiet Woods, 1989), the social history of sport (A Corner of a Foreign Field, 2002), and contemporary history (India After Gandhi, 2007). His most recent book is a collection of essays, Patriots and Partisans, published by Penguin in 2012.
His other books include Savaging the Civilized: Verrier Elwin, His Tribals, and India (1999), soon to appear in a new edition from Penguin.
Guha’s awards include the Leopold-Hidy Prize of the American Society of Environmental History, the Sahitya Akademi Award, and the Padma Bhushan.
His books and essays have been translated into more than twenty languages. In 2008, and again in 2013, Guha featured on Prospect Magazines list of the world’s most influential thinkers.
Praise for Ramachandra Guha
Perhaps the best among India’s non-fiction writers-The New York Times
One of the world’s greatest minds- Independent 
That rarest of species, a genuinely independent-minded Indian intellectual-Times of India
Indian democracy’s pre-eminent chronicler-Time
For more information, please contact Hemali.Sodhi@in.penguingroup.com