A classic of Marxist historical analysis. The first full-fledged attempt by a Marxist to evaluate Gandhi's role in India's freedom struggle. E.M.S. Namboodiripad, who began his political life as an ardent Gandhian, was uniquely positioned to analyse the various phases of the national movement and the role of Gandhi. The key question he poses is: how did Gandhi become the undisputed leader of the anti-colonial national liberation movement? In answering this question, he looks at the individual role of Gandhi and the unique contribution he made to developing the national movement, while also simultaneously taking into account the social and historical forces that shaped Gandhi and his worldview. First published in 1958, The Mahatma and the Ism remains important for its pioneering effort to assess Gandhism, for its rich content and sensitive handling of a great personality, and for subjecting the ideology and politics of that personality to incisive critical appraisal. This edition also contains an introduction by Prakash Karat that places this book within the context of EMS's overall writing on Gandhi. E.M.S. Namboodiripad E.M.S. NAMBOODIRIPAD (1909–1998) was among India’s pioneering Communist leaders and a Marxist theoretician of enormous stature. He became Chief Minister of Kerala on two occasions, in 1957 at the head of the historic first Communist government, and again in 1967 as head of a seven-party coalition. He was the author of several books and hundreds of articles and essays.