About the book
At the age of eighteen, a shy and timid Mohandas Gandhi leaves his home in Gujaratfor a life on his own. At forty-five, a confident and fearless Gandhi, ready to boldly lead his countryto freedom, returns to India.What transforms him?The law.The Man before the Mahatma is the first biography of Gandhi's life in the law. It follows Gandhion his journey of self-discovery during his law studies in Britain, his law practice in India and hisenormous success representing wealthy Indian merchants in South Africa, where relentless attackson Indian rights by the white colonial authorities cause him to give up his lucrative representationof private clients for public work-the representation of the besieged Indian community in SouthAfrica.As he takes on the most powerful governmental, economic and political forces of his day, he learnstwo things: that unifying his professional work with his political and moral principles not onlyprovides him with satisfaction, it also creates in him a strong, powerful voice. Using the courtroomsof South Africa as his laboratory for resistance, Gandhi learns something else so important thatit will eventually have a lasting and worldwide impact: a determined people can bring repressivegovernments to heel by the principled use of civil disobedience.Using materials hidden away in archival vaults and brought to light for the first time, The Manbefore the Mahatma puts the reader inside dramatic experiences that changed Gandhi's life foreverand have never been written about-until now.
About the Author
Charles DiSalvo is the Woodrow A. Potesta Professor of Law at West Virginia University, wherehe teaches one of the few law school courses in the United States on civil disobedience. He hasrepresented civil disobedients in trial and appellate courts, written widely on civil disobedience andlectured on the subject in the United States and abroad.Professor DiSalvo was educated at St. John Fisher College, Claremont Graduate University, andthe University of Southern California School of Law, where he was a member of the SouthernCalifornia Law Review. Upon his graduation from law school, he was awarded a Reginald HeberSmith Community Lawyer Fellowship to practise poverty law for the Appalachian Research andDefense Fund.He served as a Bigelow Teaching Fellow at the University of Chicago Law School before joining theWest Virginia faculty. In addition to teaching a course on civil disobedience and the law, he teachescourses on civil procedure and trial advocacy. He is the co-founder of the West Virginia Fund for Lawin the Public Interest.He is married to Kathleen Kennedy, with whom he has three children, Clare, Maura and Philip.