Posts Tagged 'Andrew Roberts'

Doing History Wrong

Was Gandhi-ji a saint, a devil, neither, or both?

Neoconservative historian Andrew Roberts has written a thoroughly dickish profile of Mahatma Gandhi in the Wall Street Journal, entitled Among the Hagiographers. Under the thin guise of a review of Joseph Lelyveld’s new biography, Great Soul, Mr. Roberts unleashes an unprovoked, relentlessly cruel smear-piece on Gandhi-ji. The essay bristles with the sort of raw enmity one might expect from a man whose professional career has revolved around the lionization of Winston Churchill and who has unreservedly adopted the venomous loathings of the man he idolizes.

The facile way to read Mr. Roberts’s offensively negative presentation is as a smoking condemnation of Gandhi-ji: the father of satyagraha was a creep and a pervert. Indeed, the essay catalogs many of Gandhi-ji’s personal shortcomings and reversals of position; and Mr. Roberts’s project is to spin these into an unflattering portrait of hypocrisy, if not outright depravity. Roberts presents precisely the opposite portrait from that assembled in the usual, beatifying hagiography; and the true object of Roberts’s loathing may be as much the Gandhian canon as Gandhi-ji himself. But, in this detail, I see a shred of subtle value in Mr. Roberts’s malicious piece. It illustrates the absurdity and ruthlessness of a bizarrely one-dimensional mining of the historical record.

Continue reading ‘Doing History Wrong’


Blasts from the Past

... because the idiocy of manliness is an evergreen topic.

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... because Canada and the US will celebrate their Thanksgiving holidays and, regrettably and preventably, not 1-cook-in-10 will serve a decent turkey.

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... because everyday is Mother's Day.

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... because the American Dream seems but a distant memory, given the country's dominant ethos of small-mindedness.

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... to remind us that not every mix of Tibetans and Western spiritual seekers has to be nauseating.

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... to celebrate the new edition of Infinite Vision published in India.

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... reprised because military strategy seems more cruel and less effective than ever -- and certainly there is a better way.

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... because cars are ruining Pondicherry, where I live. How badly are they fucking up your Indian town?

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... reprinted because more-and-more people seem want to understand the gift economy. (Yeah!)

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