Nearly 75 years after his death, Mohandas Gandhi remains one of the most influential figures in human history. Known for his philosophy of nonviolence and for liberating India from British colonial rule, Gandhi has been an inspiration to some of our most important civil rights luminaries, including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
But if you look past Gandhi’s most celebrated accomplishments, some of his beliefs and haven’t stood the test of time as well. In recent years, modern sensibilities have rejected some of his teachings as misogynistic and racist.
Perhaps there’s a third point of view: between the historic icon and the recent backlash, there’s just a guy. In this regard, Gandhi’s own words, in an autobiography first published in 1927, provide helpful perspective. They reveal him to be a mere mortal with both strengths and flaws.