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The pre-eminent political and spiritual leader of India’s independence movement, pioneer of non-violent resistance through mass civil disobedience, and the man honoured in India as ‘father of the nation’, Mohandas K. Gandhi has inspired civil rights and liberation movements the world over.

Yet he was also a man of many contradictions: a lifelong pacifist whose treatment of his wife and sons bordered on cruelty; a self-denying ascetic who preached the virtues of chastity in marriage yet experienced a high degree of intimate physical female contact; a political radical whose resistance to racism and appreciation of the value of all religions strike a thoroughly modern note, but whose vision of India was of an almost medieval village nation.

In Gandhi: Naked Ambition, Jad Adams delineates Gandhi’s searing ambition, including his relentless recreation of his own image, from London dandy to naked wise man; his ruthless sacrifice of his family for his principles; and his role in the tragedy of partition.

Using material only recently made available, including the most explicit account yet of Gandhi’s sexual experiments with the wives of his followers and his teenage grand-nieces, Jad Adams’ accessible and challenging biography reveals the man behind the Mahatma.


'A vividly human, even funny book' Daily Mail.
Daily Mail
'Readable and provocative' Financial Times.
Financial Times
'Fascinating' Times Literary Supplement.
Times Literary Supplement