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Publisher's Summary

In this fast-paced epic, best-selling historian and master storyteller Arthur Herman spotlights two giants of the 20th century. Gandhi & Churchill shows how their 40-year rivalry revolutionized India and the British Empire, paving the way for a new era. Gandhi championed India's independence, Churchill the British Empire.
©2008 Arthur Herman; (P)2008 Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Charles
  • Arlington, VA, United States
  • 09-23-10

Simply excellent

This is a very well written history, which I have now listened to twice. I found it so compelling that I subsequently purchased the hard copy so I could read and annotate it. I read the book having already read much on Churchill (including Manchester's biographies) but I wasn't disappointed since this book really focuses primarily on India and Gandhi, but in a manner that also tracks Churchill's life and influence as well. This is truly one of the best audiobooks I've purchased from audible.

24 of 24 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A motif that works well

I was uncertain whether a dual biography made sense, but in the hands of the author, it works very well, giving a clearer picture of each man. The visions of the two men arise from a shared Victorian world view. They occasionally crossed paths, and they clashed directly over India's independence. Both men lived heroic lives, suffered Herculean setbacks, espoused unpopular views, were both loved and despised at different times by the masses, embodied the highest virtues of their cultures, accomplished great things, failed to accomplish their most cherished goals, and will be remembered for centuries to come. History doesn't get any better than this -- it's the story of two amazing lives told with flair.

49 of 50 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • peter
  • Pound Ridge, NY United States
  • 01-11-12

When Leaders Were Statesmen

A long and detailed history, the result of thorough research and a fine critical mind when it comes to analysis of the relative importance of the events described. The writer has a clear, unfussy style and I never find myself going back to hear again something I cannot comprehend first time around.

I have read much about Churchill and this book gives me a new perspective on the great man. Indeed, I now understand his shortcomings far better. Ghandi was new to me and this is an excellent biography. In the case of neither man is it a glowing, one sided tribute but more a full frontal picture, warts and all, focusing on their very great achievements alongside their blind spots.

The book gets better as it rolls out. The climax, in which Herman details the funerals of each man is very moving; some of the best writing I have enjoyed.

The reader is clear and strong, necessary in a book of this length where it is easy to pretend to listen.

Good, important history.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A Must for Any History Buff

An excellent and totally painless way to gain some insight to the history of the late 19th and early 20th centuries by examining the lives of two of that periods' most fascinating people. The book was comprehensive but not mired in too much detail. The narration was superb. I have often wondered at the larger-than-life images and reputation of each of these men, and this book manages to strip away the “superman” aura and still leave you with an appreciation of two of the most influential men of the 20th century. Highly recommend.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Hardin
  • Boston, MA, United States
  • 12-28-10

Relearnig History

I had read about Ghandi 40 years ago so it was great to learn the story again in the context of the Raj represented by Churchill. As India rises as an economic force, this is a good introduction to early failed relationships with the West

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Adam
  • IRVING, TX, United States
  • 01-17-12

Very good

This book is a dual biography of Gandhi and Churchill, and each biography is quite good. This book is, then, really two separate books. I have read separate biographies on Gandhi and on Churchill, and this was better than those other biographies. Other biographies sometimes focus on a specific part of the person's life (I read on biography on Churchill that focused on his military career) and leave out the other important parts of their life and character. This book doesn't do that, but instead covers both in full detail. If you want a biography on these two, get this book and don't bother with any other biographies.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Detailed, Honest Biography

This is a good biography of two of the most influential, yet misunderstood men of the last century.Years ago, I was suprised to find that many Indians do not think Gahndi was a hero or even a great leader. This book goes into the detail that is sorely missing from everything else I have read about Gahndi.
Churchill too is often revered as a great leader. This book helps to delineate the man from the myth by detailing his personal and professional flaws.
Overall a very good biography, the book contrasts their early lives and how they eventually became the great me history portrays them. A must read for the 20th century history buff!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Excellent

I have enjoyed listening to this book very much. I listen about 1 hour per day on the way to and from work. Amazing story and has parallels between the British attempts to control foreign lands in the 1800's&1900's and the US present day foreign policy. I had no idea how extensive the British empire was until I listened to this recording. We gain more insight into Ghandi then that offered by the remarkable film about him. Churchill's career path is amazing and tortuous.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Leadership: Passive and Aggresive

A wonderful recount of events that shapped both the future of Great Britan and India. Although things didn't turn out the way either of the two men expected their contributions to history are majestic. The backgrounds of both men and the era they came from makes for interesting reading and a deeper understanding of how they acted/reacted to the events that took place.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

British Raj & the tale of two giants

What a fantastic book! Well written and narrated. A+++++. After listening to the "Team of Rivals", my favorite book, I was not sure whether any other book lasting over 20 hours would keep me interested from the beginning to the end without wavering! This one did.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Story
  • Shali Kulasuriya
  • 02-28-17

Informative and well structured

Enjoyed the book, it was well structured, well narrated and covered both leaders in great detail.