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Hind Swaraj or Indian Home Rule by Gandhi

Hind Swaraj or Indian Home Rule (1910)

by Gandhi

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This book, more like a pamphlet written by Gandhi during his trip back to India after exile, is hard to assess because it's so hard to think of it, distinctly, as both a political treatise and as a piece of rhetorical argument.

In terms of its politics, there's little in here that those familiar with Gandhi will find unfamiliar, except perhaps for the depth of anger that found its way into the work. What's so interesting is that Gandhi is able to channel that anger into convincing argument, so that it comes off more like conviction than pure rage.

From a rhetorical standpoint, though, the work seems to be a bit lacking. Much of the Editor's argumentation seems steeped in historical analysis, though he later defines history as "a record of the interruption of the course of nature," which tends towards peace. It's unclear, then, how a free India would fit within history, or whether history would even be relevant, but it seems like a key point in considering past governments.

In the end, though the rhetoric isn't foolproof and the language can come off feeling a little hippie-ish for our times, many of the messages are timeless and the passion and devotion of Gandhi are admirable and clearly on display here.

A short but deep read, easy to follow and digest.
  dczapka | Mar 5, 2008 |
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