Gandhi: A Spiritual Biography

A Spiritual Biography

Instructions: This assignment is designed to help you master the skill of reading secondary historical sources. For this essay, you will be analyzing a particular type of secondary source: historical biographies. Students must begin by consulting the document, “How to Read a Secondary Source,” which is also available on-line in html format at: (section 2.a.).


Looking at the STAMP technique in the document mentioned above, try to answer the questions about the book’s (T)hesis, (A)rgument and to a lesser extent (M)otive. That is, begin by identifying the thesis, and then analyze the author’s argument(s). What is the argument that Sharma is making? Is it convincing? How is the big argument (thesis) structured into little arguments? Is the reasoning valid? Does the evidence seem to support the conclusions? Can you detect the underlying assumptions in this argument? What are they? Why does he call it a “spiritual biography”? Lastly, if there is space in your paper and it is possible, consider the author’s possible motives. Why did he write this book?