Gandhi & Churchill: The Epic Rivalry that Destroyed an Empire and Forged Our Age by Arthur Herman - review by Piers Brendon

Piers Brendon

The Fakir and the Bulldog

Gandhi & Churchill: The Epic Rivalry that Destroyed an Empire and Forged Our Age

By

Hutchinson 736pp £25 order from our bookshop
 

Double biographies are now all the rage and Arthur Herman has had the good idea of juxtaposing the lives of those great imperial adversaries, Mohandas Gandhi and Winston Churchill. They only met once, in 1906, when Churchill was Under-Secretary for the Colonies and Gandhi called on him to protest (in vain) about racial discrimination against his own community in South Africa. But their careers were closely entwined and the two men came to personify opposing sides in the struggle for Indian independence.

Needless to say, Gandhi was the avatar of soul force while Churchill embodied bulldoggish belligerence. He once said that Gandhi, as a punishment for agitation against the august and benevolent administration of the British Crown, ‘ought to be laid, bound hand and foot, at the gates of Delhi and then

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter