INTRODUCTION BY FWP
Of all things, surely we don't need another etext
of Gandhi's Autobiography? In principle I agree, dear reader, but
in practice I think this one will come in handy. It's true that the whole
work is available at *Mahatma.org*,
but they follow the extremely irritating practice of paginating the whole
thing as though it were the original small book, so that you have to be
constantly clicking an arrow and waiting for the next page to appear, and
you can't easily scroll ahead or back to find something you might want.
Since I'm going to use Part One of this work in a class this fall, I thought
of making something a bit more convenient for my students, with each chapter
given its own page. Then of course I realized it might be useful to everybody's
students, so I should make it available to the public.
In the process, I've also corrected quite a number
of typos in the etext, a few of them involving even whole omitted lines.
The edition from which I've done the correcting is the Beacon Press one
(1957 and later reprints), an authorized American edition published under
the auspices of the Unitarian Universalist Association. In general I've
followed this source text quite steadfastly. All footnotes are from this
source text, and all the paragraphing is that of the source text. Not even
one single word of it has been changed. In some cases I've corrected minor
errors of punctuation in the source text, mostly involving commas. A few
editorial annotations of my own appear in square brackets; mostly these
are designed to clarify possible points of confusion for students.
My reward for this work has been to have an occasion
to closely reread the Autobiography-- especially my favorite Part
One, Gandhi's account of his childhood and his youthful days in England.
After doing Part One, I found that I couldn't resist going ahead
and adding the rest of this altogether remarkable, enjoyable, admirable,
irritating, unpredictable, endlessly thought-provoking work.
This etext was completed over the Christmas
holidays, December 2006-January 2007, in Little Rock, and I dedicate it
with much affection to my wonderful mother and my dear friend Pratt Remmel.