A Frank Friendship : Gandhi and Bengal: A Descriptive Chronology

Edited by Gopalkrishna Gandhi, Seagull Books, 2007, xxii, 594 p, plates, ISBN : 1905422636, $70.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

A Frank Friendship : Gandhi and Bengal: A Descriptive Chronology/edited by Gopalkrishna Gandhi

Contents: Editor's Preface. Foreword/Amartya Sen. Introduction. 1. 1896-1905. 2. 1915-1925. 3. 1926-1936. 4. 1937-1947. Epilogue. References cited. Further reading. Appendices: 1. Gandhi's meetings with Governors of Bengal. 2. Gandhi's visits to Santiniketan. 3. A list of places where Gandhi stayed in Calcutta. 4. Maps. 5. Gandhi in Bengal: a Chronological table. Index of personalities.

"Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi's first visit to Bengal was on 4 July 1896 when he disembarked in Calcutta while on a visit from South Africa. Lord Elgin was Viceroy and Governor General of India. His last visit to Calcutta commenced shortly before 15 August 1947, the day India became free.

Through this meticulous compilation of newspaper reports, letters, excerpts from contemporary accounts and Gandhi's own writings, and the extensive annotations that bring to light many known and unknown characters and events of the time, as well as accounts of Gandhi's interactions with the 'greats' of Bengal such as Rabindranath Tagore, Acharya Prafulla Chandra Ray, Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das and the impactful Bose Brothers that reveal their extraordinary personalities, we see a man continually evolving as a political and a strategist in the struggle against colonialism, an organizer of mass-struggles and of individual initiatives, mainly his own.

Running through the text, as it does through Gandhi's thoughts, prayers, decisions and extensive travels, is the pulse of the people of Bengal, a people whose manifold talents and perspectives set them at the heart of renascent India.

This volume is sure to enable a better understanding of the Mahatma whose life was sited on an almost oxymoronic overlap of the empirical and the deeply spiritual." (jacket)

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