Morgantown, W.Va. Before he was the iconic leader of nonviolent political resistance, Mahatma Gandhi was a lawyer.
A new book by West Virginia University College of Law professor Charles DiSalvo is the first biography that explores Gandhi’s transformative early years as a practicing attorney.
In M.K.Gandhi, Attorney at Law: The Man Before the Mahatma (University of California Press, 2013), DiSalvo traces Gandhi’s journey of self-discovery from his education in Britain, to the failure of his first law practice, and his migration to South Africa.
Based on exhaustive research, including rare archival material, DiSalvo focuses on the relationship between Gandhi’s practice of law and his embrace of civil disobedience. He illustrates how Gandhi’s background and experiences as a lawyer, particularly in racially segregated South Africa from 1893 to 1914, helped develop what would ultimately become the philosophy and practice of nonviolent civil disobedience.
“Gandhi became a civil disobedient, conscientiously breaking of the law, while he was a member of the legal profession,” said DiSalvo. “That’s a significant transformation for a lawyer and it put Gandhi on a path that would change the world.”
The Indian edition of the book was released last year to critical acclaim. The Asian Review of Books called it “a very powerful and original contribution to Gandhian studies.”
DiSalvo was invited to India to speak about the book at the Jaipur International Literature Festival the largest book festival of Asia-Pacific. In addition, he has delivered lectures on the book around the world.
DiSalvo is the Woodrow A. Potesta Professor of Law at WVU and teaches one of the few law school courses in the country on civil disobedienceinspired by Gandhi and others. He is also an expert on bioethics and the law, civil procedure, and trial advocacy. DiSalvo joined the College of Law in 1979 and he is co-founder of the West Virginia Fund for Law in Public Interest.
M.K.Gandhi, Attorney at Law: The Man Before the Mahatma is available now in bookstores and online.
- WVU Law experts participate in Brookings Institution workshop on coal communities
- WVU Law receives $150,000 grant from Natural Resources Conservation Service
- Professor Martin's book on business and human rights published by Cambridge University Press
- Q&A: Jaci Gonzales Martin '10
- Harvard Business Review names John Chambers '74 world's #2 "Best-Performing" CEO
- Harvard's Lani Guinier to discuss higher education reform in WVU Law lecture on November 5
- Lister appointed to NALP regional council
- WVU Law Fisher Lecture to address copyrighting engineered DNA
- WVU Law offering a free IP seminar for entrepreneurs
- Professor Fershee addresses shale oil and gas impact on transportation
- November 2015
- October 2015
- September 2015
- August 2015
- July 2015
- June 2015
- May 2015
- April 2015
- March 2015
- February 2015
- January 2015
- December 2014
- November 2014
- October 2014
- September 2014
- August 2014
- July 2014
- June 2014
- May 2014
- April 2014
- March 2014
- February 2014
- January 2014
- December 2013
- November 2013
- October 2013
- September 2013
- August 2013
- June 2013
- May 2013
- April 2013
- March 2013
- February 2013