NANDA, B. R.

Mahatma Gandhi. A biography.

London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd, 1959 Stock Code: 140680
£925.00

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Notes

First edition, second impression. Presentation copy from the author, inscribed on the front free endpaper, "To Dr. Buckminster Fuller, with regards from the author, B.R. Nanda, 19.11.69". An interesting association of the 20th-century's greatest champion of non-violent struggle and its most dynamic technological visionary; with Fuller's neat library subject label at foot of spine.

Bal Ram Nanda (1917-2010) was Gandhi's foremost Indian biographer, who published several books about the Mahatma, as well as biographies of Nehru, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, and other prominent political figures. Nanda's study sought to rescue Gandhi from the "goat's milk and loin cloth version" popular among Western writers, and the equally distorting tendency among many Indians to make him "a divinity in the Hindu pantheon". Gandhi, Nanda believes, must be remembered as a man who "shaped his environment as much as he was shaped by it, and who tenaciously adhered to certain values to which civilized humanity pays lip service while flouting them in practice" (cited by Judith M. Brown in Karen Nanda, ed., Gandhi's Moral Politics, 2018).

Fuller (1895-1983) had a lifelong interest in Gandhi's thought: during the late 1920s, unemployed, drinking heavily, and contemplating suicide, he underwent an experience that altered the course of his life, and "moved his wife and daughter into a tiny studio in a Chicago slum and, instead, of finding a job, took to spending his days in the library, reading Gandhi and Leonardo" (Elizabeth Kolbert, "Dymaxion Man: The Visions of Buckminster Fuller", The New Yorker, 9 June 2008, retrieved 12 May 2020). Later, as an established figure on the world stage, Fuller was highly regarded among India's political elite, and was a good friend of Indira Gandhi. During one visit to her home he spoke "for five-and-a-half hours on higher mathematics. According to Indira his talk was 'quite exhausting, but so stimulating'". (Pupul Jayakar, Indira Gandhi, 2017). During a 1969 trip to India when he received this gift from Nanda he made an unannounced visit to Mrs Gandhi and presented her with his map of the universe, which he inscribed, "To Indira on whose integrity God is entrusting much of the evolutionary success of humanity and with utter safety" (ibid.).

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Description

Octavo. Original orange cloth, orange top edge. With the dust jacket. Housed in a smart custom black cloth solander box.

Condition

Spine of jacket lightly sunned and with a few shallow indentations at head, back panel just a little soiled, a few nicks and chips, short closed-tear and neat New Delhi bookseller's stamp at foot of front free endpaper. A very good copy in a superior example of the jacket.

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