||"The second and concluding volume of Ramachandra Guha's magisterial biography that offers the definitive portrait of the life and work of one of the most abidingly influential--and controversial--men in world history. This book opens in July 1914, as Mohandas Gandhi leaves South Africa to return to India. Over the next three decades, Gandhi's daily life would be given over to the epic struggle to deliver India from British rule, to forge harmonious relations between India's Hindus and Muslims, to end the pernicious practice of untouchability, and to nurture India's economic and moral self-reliance. Guha's illuminating narrative follows Gandhi as he works his way into the hierarchy of the nationalist movement, emerging as early as 1919 as its leader ... as he organizes local and issue-specific campaigns that would lead to the spectacular movement of non-cooperation that spread across the country between 1920 and 1922 (only to be called off by Gandhi himself when a group of his followers burned a police station to the ground) ... as he spearheads the "Independence Pledge" among his colleagues in the Congress ... as he makes the extraordinary three-week-long Salt March, which would force the British, finally, to meet face-to-face with the "half-naked fakir," as Churchill (in)famously called him. In each of these campaigns, Gandhi develops novel methods of nonviolence--strikes, marches, fasts--to successfully challenge not only British authority but the religious orthodoxy and social customs that had afflicted his country for centuries. In reconstructing Gandhi's life and work, Guha has drawn on sixty different archival collections, the most significant a previously unavailable collection of papers belonging to Gandhi himself. He creates a luminous portrait not only of the Mahatma but of those closest to him, among them: the political leaders Vallabhbhai Patel and Jawaharlal Nehru; Mahadev Desai, his indispensable secretary and confidant; Charles E Andrews, the Christian priest who acted as intermediary between Gandhi and officials of the Raj; Gandhi's great rivals, the Muslim leader M.A. Jinnah and the brilliant Columbia-educated leader of the "Untouchables," B.R. Ambedkar; Gandhi's wife, Kasturba; and their son Devadas. Guha reconstructs the attitudes of the successive British viceroys of India in their dealings with Gandhi; shows how the Second World War provided impetus for the Quit India movement, which the author argues was Gandhi's last desperate effort to see the end before he died; and examines how Gandhi's opposition to the partition would be the catalyst for sectarian violence when the British granted independence on 15 August 1947. We see his extraordinary walk through riot-torn villages in that year; his fast that succeeded in stopping religious violence in Calcutta; the worldwide outpouring of grief after his assassination in January 1948. This biography is a revelation of the complexity of Gandhi's thinking, his motives, his actions and their outcomes as he engaged with every important aspect of social and public life in the India of his time--and as his influence, and the challenge and controversy of his legacy, continue unabated."--Jacket.