100 books like The Life of Mahatma Gandhi

By Louis Fischer,

Here are 100 books that The Life of Mahatma Gandhi fans have personally recommended if you like The Life of Mahatma Gandhi. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Let the Trumpet Sound: A Life of Martin Luther King, Jr.

John Dear Author Of A Persistent Peace: One Man's Struggle for a Nonviolent World

From my list on the greatest modern peacemakers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve spent my entire life in pursuit of peace and nonviolence, and tried to be a peacemaker to our poor world of permanent warfare, extreme poverty, systemic violence, nuclear weapons, and environmental destruction. I’ve organized hundreds of demonstrations, spoken to a million people, written some forty books on peace and nonviolence, been arrested 85 times, traveled the warzones of the world—all the while trying to practice peace and nonviolence, and not doing a good job of it. That’s why I look to the examples of legendary peacemakers who lived the life of peace and changed the world with their disarming presence, people like Gandhi, Dr. King, Dorothy Day, Daniel Berrigan and Thomas Merton.

John's book list on the greatest modern peacemakers

John Dear Why did John love this book?

I consider this the best, most comprehensive biography of Dr. King, and essential reading for all who want to understand him, the Civil Rights movement, his struggles, and his methodology of nonviolence. There are other good books, but this tells the whole story in clear prose and leaves the reader overwhelmed by his staggering, faithful, visionary life, and challenged to do something for justice, disarmament, and nonviolence. Still one of my all-time favorite books! I read it every year, and find myself re-energized all over again to carry on Dr. King’s work for social, economic, and racial justice as well as disarmament and nonviolence.

By Stephen B. Oates,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Let the Trumpet Sound as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“The most comprehensive, the most thoroughly researched and documented, the most scholarly of the biographies of Martin Luther King, Jr.” —Henry Steele Commanger, Philadelphia Inquirer

Winner of the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Book Award * A New York Times Notable Book of the Year

By the acclaimed biographer of Abraham Lincoln, Nat Turner, and John Brown, Stephen B. Oates's prizewinning Let the Trumpet Sound is the definitive one-volume life of Martin Luther King, Jr. This brilliant examination of the great civil rights icon and the movement he led provides a lasting portrait of a man whose dream shaped American history.…


Book cover of All Is Grace: A Biography of Dorothy Day

John Dear Author Of A Persistent Peace: One Man's Struggle for a Nonviolent World

From my list on the greatest modern peacemakers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve spent my entire life in pursuit of peace and nonviolence, and tried to be a peacemaker to our poor world of permanent warfare, extreme poverty, systemic violence, nuclear weapons, and environmental destruction. I’ve organized hundreds of demonstrations, spoken to a million people, written some forty books on peace and nonviolence, been arrested 85 times, traveled the warzones of the world—all the while trying to practice peace and nonviolence, and not doing a good job of it. That’s why I look to the examples of legendary peacemakers who lived the life of peace and changed the world with their disarming presence, people like Gandhi, Dr. King, Dorothy Day, Daniel Berrigan and Thomas Merton.

John's book list on the greatest modern peacemakers

John Dear Why did John love this book?

I consider Dorothy Day one of the greatest peacemakers in modern history, and as Pope Francis said when he addressed Congress, one of the all-time greatest Americans. As a woman, she stood against every form of injustice, war, and nuclear weapons, all while living with the poor and founding the Catholic Worker movement. This book gives the best, most complete portrait of her long, storied life and is filled with pictures and quotes. She will soon be canonized as a saint and take her place along with St. Francis of Assisi as one of the greatest Christians of all time. She sets a high bar for Christian living as hospitality to the poor, resistance to war, and total nonviolence. A must-read for every would-be peacemaker, servant of the poor, and aspiring Christian.

By Jim Forest,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked All Is Grace as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Dorothy Day (1897-1980), founder of the Catholic Worker movement, and one of the most prophetic voices in the American Catholic church, has recently been proposed as a candidate for canonization. In this lavishly illustrated biography, Jim Forest provides a compelling portrait of her heroic efforts to live out the radical message of the gospel for our time.

A journalist and social reformer in her youth, Day surprised her friends with the decision in 1927 to enter the Catholic church. Her conversion, prompted by the birth out of wedlock of her daughter Tamar left her searching for some way to reconcile…


Book cover of At Play in the Lions' Den: A Biography and Memoir of Daniel Berrigan

John Dear Author Of A Persistent Peace: One Man's Struggle for a Nonviolent World

From my list on the greatest modern peacemakers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve spent my entire life in pursuit of peace and nonviolence, and tried to be a peacemaker to our poor world of permanent warfare, extreme poverty, systemic violence, nuclear weapons, and environmental destruction. I’ve organized hundreds of demonstrations, spoken to a million people, written some forty books on peace and nonviolence, been arrested 85 times, traveled the warzones of the world—all the while trying to practice peace and nonviolence, and not doing a good job of it. That’s why I look to the examples of legendary peacemakers who lived the life of peace and changed the world with their disarming presence, people like Gandhi, Dr. King, Dorothy Day, Daniel Berrigan and Thomas Merton.

John's book list on the greatest modern peacemakers

John Dear Why did John love this book?

Daniel Berrigan was the first U.S. priest to be arrested for civil disobedience against war, and with his brother, achieved global fame for the 1968 Catonsville Nine protest against the Vietnam war and the 1980 Plowshares action against nuclear weapons. An award-winning poet, author of fifty books, Nobel peace prize nominee and priest, Daniel Berrigan changed the history of the church and called U.S. Christians to nonviolent resistance to the culture of violence and war and to pursue a new culture of justice, peace, and nonviolence. This is by far the best biography of Dan and is filled with great photos. I was one of Dan’s closest friends and remain his literary executor, so I can’t recommend this highly enough. Totally inspiring. 

By Jim Forest,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked At Play in the Lions' Den as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

INDEPENDENT PUBLISHER 2018 ILLUMINATION AWARD GOLD MEDAL WINNER (BIOGRAPHY)

Daniel Berrigan (1921-2016), a Jesuit priest and poet, was one of the preeminent Christian peacemakers of his time. After gaining notoriety in 1968 through his role, along with his brother Philip, in destroying Vietnam-era draft files as part of the Catonsville 9, he helped elevate the Christian conscience with regard to issues of war and violence. Resistance to the Vietnam War was followed by decades of protest against nuclear weapons, including his participation in the first "Plowshares" action, the symbolical disarming of nuclear warheads.

But Berrigan's efforts on behalf of life…


Book cover of Living With Wisdom: A Life of Thomas Merton

John Dear Author Of A Persistent Peace: One Man's Struggle for a Nonviolent World

From my list on the greatest modern peacemakers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve spent my entire life in pursuit of peace and nonviolence, and tried to be a peacemaker to our poor world of permanent warfare, extreme poverty, systemic violence, nuclear weapons, and environmental destruction. I’ve organized hundreds of demonstrations, spoken to a million people, written some forty books on peace and nonviolence, been arrested 85 times, traveled the warzones of the world—all the while trying to practice peace and nonviolence, and not doing a good job of it. That’s why I look to the examples of legendary peacemakers who lived the life of peace and changed the world with their disarming presence, people like Gandhi, Dr. King, Dorothy Day, Daniel Berrigan and Thomas Merton.

John's book list on the greatest modern peacemakers

John Dear Why did John love this book?

Thomas Merton is perhaps the best-known and most beloved monk in history. His 1948 best-selling autobiography, The Seven Storey Mountain, inspired millions of people. He went on to write over 100 books on every aspect of the spiritual life, as well as racism, war, poetry, and peacemaking, while spending his days in his Kentucky monastery, until his untimely death in 1968. The third of Jim Forest’s biographies, Living With Wisdom sums up Merton’s story using all his writings, journals, and letters, along with many photos, and offers the best overview of Merton’s shining example of contemplative peacemaking. It will inspire everyone to go deep into the spiritual roots of peace and nonviolence and become authentic peacemakers.  

By Jim Forest,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Living With Wisdom as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Here is a lavish pictorial biography of Thomas Merton, the extraordinary Trappist monk whose writings--including his classic autobiography The Seven Storey Mountain--exerted a profound influence on millions. An extensive collection of photographs captures the life and vision of one of the greatest spiritual figures of the century.


Book cover of Threads of Peace: How Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. Changed the World

Tina Athaide Author Of Orange for the Sunsets

From my list on historical events unfolding.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child, I loved escaping into my character’s world—solving mysteries with Nancy Drew, getting into trouble like Anne from Anne of Green Gables, and diving into adventures with Enid Blyton’s Famous Five. But I never saw anyone like myself in those books. A girl with black hair and coffee-colored skin, who licked the last samosa crumb off her fingers. That's one of the reasons I write and read historical fiction. It allows you to take a ride with a person from that place and time, and the first rule of time travel is that you cannot change the past. But when you finish reading you may discover that the past has changed you. 

Tina's book list on historical events unfolding

Tina Athaide Why did Tina love this book?

I greatly admire Mohandas Gandhi and Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., so I was intrigued when I heard about this book that looked at the common threads between two amazing historical figures who shared a goal of social reform. Being South Asian, I am very familiar with Mohandas Gandhi, and after moving to the United States, I learned a lot about the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., and this book revealed what led these two men down the path of peace. Even today, it saddens me that both Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. met their end to life by assassinations. I have only recently added this book to my classroom library, but anticipate it will be a popular choice among my students.

By Uma Krishnaswami,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Threads of Peace as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

"Inviting and original." -Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Mohandas Gandhi and Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. both shook and changed the world in their quest for peace among all people, but what threads connected these great activists together in their shared goal of social revolution?

A lawyer and activist, tiny of stature with giant ideas, in British-ruled India at the beginning of the 20th century.

A minister from Georgia with a thunderous voice and hopes for peace at the height of the civil rights movement in America.

Born more than a half-century apart, with seemingly little in common except one shared…


Book cover of Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with Truth

David Hardiman Author Of Gandhi in His Time and Ours: The Global Legacy of His Ideas

From my list on Mahatma Gandhi and his life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have for over fifty years studied and written about the Indian nationalist movement, examining it from many different angles. I lived and worked for many years in India. I have throughout had an appreciative but often troubled relationship with Gandhi – admiring him for much of what he stood for, while finding it hard to accept many of his beliefs and actions. This will be apparent to anyone reading the books that I have written. Despite this, I have a deep respect for a man who was undoubtedly a towering figure in twentieth-century history.   

David's book list on Mahatma Gandhi and his life

David Hardiman Why did David love this book?

Gandhi wrote this book, his autobiography, between 1925 and 1929, when he was in his late fifties. It focuses on his formative years, showing how he forged his distinctive style of activism in South Africa and India. It is remarkable for its honesty, even when Gandhi had shameful memories to relate, as when he struck his wife, Kasturba, in anger.  His aim is to show how he changed himself in ways that would make such violent behavior on his part impossible. His ‘truth’ is that of nonviolence and he describes the experiments that he undertook in establishing his nonviolence at both a personal and political level. It is a compelling read that brings out brilliantly Gandhi’s style of thinking and his personality. It is in my opinion a classic of twentieth-century literature. 

By Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Autobiography as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Who was Gandhi? In the midst of resurging interest in the man who freed India, inspired the American Civil Rights Movement, and is revered, respected, and misunderstood all over the world, the time is proper to listen to Gandhi himself — in his own words, his own "confessions," his Autobiography.
  
Gandhi made scrupulous truth-telling a religion, and his Autobiography inevitably reminds one of other saints who have suffered and burned for their lapses. He gives a simply narrated account of his boyhood in Gujarat, marriage at age 13, legal studies in England, and a growing desire for purity and reform.…


Book cover of Gandhi Before India

Todd Hasak-Lowy Author Of We Are Power: How Nonviolent Activism Changes the World

From my list on inspirational nonviolent leaders.

Why am I passionate about this?

In the early years of the Trump presidency, I looked for a subject that would inspire young readers, and keep me from falling into despair. I loved researching this topic and finding ways to do justice to the incredible people and the movements at the center of my book. Simply put, it was a joy to become an expert on this important topic. There are so many reasons to be pessimistic about the state of the world, but these stories give me hope that together we can create a better future for everyone.

Todd's book list on inspirational nonviolent leaders

Todd Hasak-Lowy Why did Todd love this book?

We all know the Gandhi in sandals and white khadi robes, but how did Gandhi become Gandhi? Guha narrates the remarkable transformation of Gandhi from a timid, London-trained lawyer into a bold, inventive activist advocating for the rights of the Indian immigrant community in South Africa. This engaging, meticulously researched book describes the emergence of Gandhi’s intertwined philosophy and politics, which together reintroduced nonviolence as a potent force to the tumultuous twentieth century.

By Ramachandra Guha,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Gandhi Before India as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A New York Times Notable Book and a San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year

A revelatory work of biography, Gandhi Before India is an illuminating portrait of the life, the work, and the historical context of one of the most abidingly influential—and controversial—men in modern history. From Gandhi’s birth in 1869, through his upbringing in Gujarat and his years as a student in London, to his two decades as a lawyer and community organizer in South Africa, acclaimed author Ramachandra Guha brings the past to light with extraordinary grace and clarity. Drawing on a wealth of newly uncovered…


Book cover of Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle with India

Bryant Wieneke Author Of Priority One

From my list on political thrillers promoting peaceful solutions.

Why am I passionate about this?

I quit my job in 1994 to write. Fiction. It took me a while to find my niche, but what I realized is that I wanted to write political thrillers that were about more than how to stop the bad guys from killing the good guys by killing them first. There is another way. Starting with Priority One, and continuing to what is currently my tenth novel in the series, I imagine an American foreign policy that promotes the building of a more peaceful world through a combination of economic justice and humanitarianism, applied practically and pragmatically. It’s my dream for my fiction, as well as the real world.

Bryant's book list on political thrillers promoting peaceful solutions

Bryant Wieneke Why did Bryant love this book?

If I want to write novels that promote steps toward peaceful solutions to seemingly intractable global problems, I must invoke Mahatma Gandhi’s spirit. His practical application of nonviolence was pivotal to achieving India’s independence from England, and it is a model for us all. In Great Soul, Lelyveld depicts a man beset by doubt, who recognized his own fallibility, and yet he was able to change the world – without violence and without sacrificing his principles. I would hope that in reading this excellent biography, I have learned something about how to get things done peacefully in our complex world, and to imagine a better day.

By Joseph Lelyveld,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Great Soul as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A highly original, stirring book on Mahatma Gandhi that deepens our sense of his achievements and disappointments—his success in seizing India’s imagination and shaping its independence struggle as a mass movement, his recognition late in life that few of his followers paid more than lip service to his ambitious goals of social justice for the country’s minorities, outcasts, and rural poor.

Pulitzer Prize–winner Joseph Lelyveld shows in vivid, unmatched detail how Gandhi’s sense of mission, social values, and philosophy of nonviolent resistance were shaped on another subcontinent—during two decades in South Africa—and then tested by an India that quickly learned…


Book cover of The Story of Alexander Hamilton: A Biography Book for New Readers

Natasha Wing Author Of The Story of Eliza Hamilton: A Biography Book for New Readers

From my list on Founding Mothers and Fathers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love relearning history I learned way back in high school and looking at it with wiser eyes. I wanted to pay tribute to both the Founding Fathers and Mothers since it took quite a few brave, smart and determined people to figure out how the new nation of the United States of America would operate. After watching the musical, Hamilton, I was curious to discover more about some of the characters. That’s what’s so great about children’s books – they can be used to extend and deepen the learning process for kids and adults.

Natasha's book list on Founding Mothers and Fathers

Natasha Wing Why did Natasha love this book?

This book is from the same series as The Story of Eliza Hamilton and makes for a great pairing. Read them both to learn about this colonial day's “power couple.” This book will help kids learn more about Alexander if they have seen the musical Hamilton. He was George Washington’s aide, and one of the most important Founding Fathers by helping win the Revolutionary War. Did you know Hamilton started the nation’s first bank system? Like the Eliza book, this one has timelines, fun side facts, maps, a family tree, and a quiz at the end. Great for classrooms!

By Christine Platt,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Story of Alexander Hamilton as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 6, 7, 8, and 9.

What is this book about?

Help kids ages 6 to 9 discover the life of Alexander Hamilton―a story about working hard, blazing trails, and fighting for freedom

Alexander Hamilton became one of the most important Founding Fathers in American history. He helped win the Revolutionary War against England and invented our nation’s first banking system. Before that, he was a playful kid who loved to write and believed in hard work. Born on a Caribbean island, Alexander overcame many hardships to come to America and earn a name for himself.

Explore how Alexander Hamilton went from being a young immigrant boy with strong values to…


Book cover of Alexander Hamilton

Jake S. Friedman Author Of The Disney Revolt: The Great Labor War of Animation's Golden Age

From my list on American history that read like you’re binge-watching.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm an expert in animation history, having written three books on it, dozens of articles, and appeared on TV documentaries about it. I've also been a college professor for about 13 years, so I know what a story needs to maintain interest. These books have that. They're about different chunks of American history, some political, some artistic, all cultural. But they're also focused on the people who made the history, and showing how they got to where they were, and why they matter. These books let me walk in the shoes of subjects, and whisk me back to their time and place. If a book passes the empathy/time-machine test, it has won me over.

Jake's book list on American history that read like you’re binge-watching

Jake S. Friedman Why did Jake love this book?

I learned that he was the only of America’s Founding Father to not come from a well-to-do family.

The book makes him into such a three-dimensional, yet exceptional portrait of a man, Even down to his extramarital affair, the first sex scandal in America. I felt like I could have a beer with this guy by the time the book was over. It breathes life into the exciting time that was colonial America before, during and immediately after the war for independence. It makes the events seem less like a bygone era, and more like a bunch of dudes threatening each other.

Most of all, it casts slavery into a realistic light, pulling no punches on how hypocritical many colonists considered each other for having slaves.

By Ron Chernow,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Alexander Hamilton as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The #1 New York Times bestseller, and the inspiration for the hit Broadway musical Hamilton!

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Chernow presents a landmark biography of Alexander Hamilton, the Founding Father who galvanized, inspired, scandalized, and shaped the newborn nation.

"Grand-scale biography at its best-thorough, insightful, consistently fair, and superbly written . . . A genuinely great book." -David McCullough

"A robust full-length portrait, in my view the best ever written, of the most brilliant, charismatic and dangerous founder of them all." -Joseph Ellis


Few figures in American history have been more hotly debated or more grossly misunderstood than Alexander Hamilton.…


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