A few years back, for reasons I can't remember, I rented & watched Richard Attenborough's film Gandhi. I was fascinated. It is an amazing movie, one that I cannot recommend enough. It is a overview of his life & gives a basic understanding of Mr. Gandhi's thought.
I wanted to learn more after watching the movie, so I went to a bookstore & picked up An Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with the Truth. It is a thick book. It is over 500 pages & that delayed me jumping in for a few weeks. Once I did start, I did get a little bogged down. He begins with telling the story of his family before his birth & then spends a good deal of time on his early childhood. I ended up putting the book down for months before I returned to it.
I must admit, the thing that brought me back to the book is the war in Iraq. I am very much so interested in peace & how others live peacefully. I picked the book back up with the drive & determination of finding out the story behind the movie as well as to form my ideas about peaceful living.
I had since bought the DVD of Mr. Attenborough's film & at this time showed it to my wife. She too was entraced. I must admit that I was a little disappointed with the book as a whole. This is mainly because of the expectations I brought into the reading. What Mr. Gandhi's purpose for the writing of the book was to document his "experiments with the truth."
These experiments ranged from eating habits to sexual habits to living habits. It is less a comprehensive narrative than it is a series of reflections on his life. The development of Mr. Gandhi's thought is spread out throughout his lifetime (as any serious thought should be) & is written as such.
Although a bit difficult to read, it is well worth the time & struggle. Also available for those interested in delving further is The Essential Gandhi: An Anthology of His Writings on His Life, Work, & Ideas, as well as Non-Violent Resistance.
All are available at NextStep Resources for 20% off the list price.