Open in the App Open in the App Open in the App
Get the key ideas from

An Autobiography

The Story of My Experiments with Truth

By M. K. Gandhi
19-minute read
Audio available
An Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with Truth by M. K. Gandhi

An Autobiography (First published in two volumes; Volume 1, 1927, and Volume 2, 1929) is the autobiography of one of the world’s most famous political icons – Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. The book traverses his rebellious childhood, his early activism in South Africa and his work for the Indian Independence Movement up until 1920, and gives insight into Gandhi’s personal philosophy and his lifelong quest for Truth.

  • Anyone interested in Gandhi’s life and personal philosophy
  • Students of history and political science
  • People cultivating leadership skills

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (Oct 2, 1869-Jan 30, 1948) was an early twentieth-century Indian activist. After working to improve Indian immigrant rights in South Africa, Gandhi returned to India in 1915 to lead the Indian Independence Movement against British rule with his unwavering belief in nonviolent protest until he was assassinated in 1948 during his evening prayers.

Go Premium and get the best of Blinkist

Upgrade to Premium now and get unlimited access to the Blinkist library. Read or listen to key insights from the world’s best nonfiction.

Upgrade to Premium

What is Blinkist?

The Blinkist app gives you the key ideas from a bestselling nonfiction book in just 15 minutes. Available in bitesize text and audio, the app makes it easier than ever to find time to read.

Discover
3,000+ top
nonfiction titles

Get unlimited access to the most important ideas in business, investing, marketing, psychology, politics, and more. Stay ahead of the curve with recommended reading lists curated by experts.

Join Blinkist to get the key ideas from

An Autobiography

The Story of My Experiments with Truth

By M. K. Gandhi
  • Read in 19 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 12 key ideas
An Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with Truth by M. K. Gandhi
Synopsis

An Autobiography (First published in two volumes; Volume 1, 1927, and Volume 2, 1929) is the autobiography of one of the world’s most famous political icons – Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. The book traverses his rebellious childhood, his early activism in South Africa and his work for the Indian Independence Movement up until 1920, and gives insight into Gandhi’s personal philosophy and his lifelong quest for Truth.

Key idea 1 of 12

Born into the merchant caste in Porbandar, India, Gandhi was wed in a child marriage at age 13.

If you’re familiar with world history and how nations become independent, you know that the process can often be a violent affair. Yet India was able to gain its independence from Britain, and this remarkable feat has a lot to do with the nonviolent beliefs of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the man who led that fight for independence.

As an adult, Gandhi’s beliefs, practices and accomplishments changed the world, but his upbringing was quite humble.

Gandhi was born in India on October 2, 1869, the youngest child of Karamchand Gandhi, his father, and Putlibai, his mother. His family belonged to the Modh Bania, a class of Hindu merchants, and lived in the harbor town of Porbandar, on the Kathiawar peninsula, in the western state of Gujarat.

Gandhi’s father was commonly known by the nickname “Kaba,” and he worked as a diwan, or chief minister, of two other Gujarati cities, Vankaner and Rajkot, where Gandhi spent much of his childhood. Kaba didn’t have any formal education, but he did have plenty of life experience, as well as an honest and incorruptible value system that proved to be quite influential with his son.

Gandhi’s mother, Putlibai, also left a lasting impression, thanks to her devotion to Hinduism and determination to stay well-informed on current affairs. Gandhi was also raised to be tolerant and inclusive toward others, as the family’s friends were numerous and diverse, and included Muslims, Jains and Parsis.

In school, Gandhi was an average student at best, but he did display an early talent for understanding morality.

In particular, he admired the honorable characters from the plays that were read in class, such as Shravana Pitribhakti Nataka. In this enduring folktale, the protagonist’s devotion to his blind parents is so strong that he carries them on his shoulders.

Gandhi also adopted an important guiding principle early on in life in the form of a saying passed down from the Gujarati community – if one receives evil from a person, one should respond with goodness.

Certainly, Gandhi’s morality and sense of honor seem already to have been in place when his teacher tried to persuade him to copy his classmates’ work during a spelling test that was being given by an inspector. Young Gandhi simply couldn’t understand what the teacher was asking of him.

It was only a few years later, as a 13-year-old, that Gandhi would be wed. Since such wedding ceremonies were quite expensive, the event also included the marriages of one of his brothers and a cousin.

At the time, Gandhi was quite excited about getting married, but as an adult, he was a vocal critic of the practice of child marriage.

Key ideas in this title

No time to
read?

Pssst. Sign up to your secret to success: key ideas from top nonfiction in just 15 minutes.
Created with Sketch.