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The Kingdom of God is Within You by , Summary
The Kingdom of God Is Within You is a non-fiction book written by Leo Tolstoy. A philosophical treatise, the book was first published in Germany in 1894 after being banned in his home country of Russia. It is the culmination of thirty years of Tolstoy's thinking, and lays out a new organization for society based on a literal Christian interpretation. The Kingdom of God is Within You is a key text for Tolstoyan, nonviolent resistance, and Christian anarchist movements. Mohandas Gandhi wrote in his autobiography The Story of My Experiments with Truth (Part II, Chapter 15) that this book "overwhelmed" him and "left an abiding impression." Gandhi listed Tolstoy's book, as well as John Ruskin's Unto This Last and the poet Shrimad Rajchandra (Raychandbhai), as the three most important modern influences in his life. Reading this book opened up the mind of the world-famous Tolstoy to Gandhi, who was still a young protester living in South Africa at the time. In 1908 Tolstoy wrote, and Gandhi read, A Letter to a Hindu, which outlines the notion that only by using love as a weapon through passive resistance could the native Indian people overthrow the colonial British Empire. This idea ultimately came to fruition through Gandhi's organization of nationwide nonviolent strikes and protests during the years 1918–1947. In 1909, Gandhi wrote to Tolstoy seeking advice and permission to republish A Letter to a Hindu in his native language, Gujarati. Tolstoy responded and the two continued a correspondence until Tolstoy's death a year later in 1910. The letters concern practical and theological applications of nonviolence, as well as Gandhi's wishes for Tolstoy's health. Tolstoy's last letter to Gandhi "was one of the last, if not the last, writings from his pen."