Anti-Hagiographies

I have sometimes said that Gandhi was the most over-rated man of the 20th century. If you ever want to give a liberal apoplexy, express that opinion. Then tell him that Nelson Mandela was the runner-up.
At Pajamas Media, John Boot notes two recent biographies, both by liberals, that threaten to demolish the reputations of Gandhi and–not Mandela, but Malcolm X.

Did you hear that ripping sound? Two liberal icons known by their silly stage names — Mahatma Gandhi and Malcolm X — have just been torn down from their sanctified perches thanks to a pair of massively researched but finally damning new biographies.
Both men, it turns out, were at pains to take on phony identities. Each hid his homosexuality, each was racist, each took pains to manufacture favorable coverage, each was driven by petty hatreds instead of shining ideals — each of these supposedly principled figures was an out-and-out phony.

For as much as has been written about Gandhi, I had no idea that he dumped his wife for a German bodybuilder named Hermann Kallenbach. “How completely you have taken possession of my body,” Gandhi wrote to Kallenbach. Is it too much to suspect that this sheds light on the origins of Gandhi’s pro-Nazi tendencies?
As for Malcolm X, his “autobiography” was a work of fiction by Alex Haley, who invented the Playboy interview and eventually became famous through another work of fiction called Roots.
Boot appropriately asks the question why these men have been so misrepresented to the public. His answer seems correct:

Why are we startled to learn the real truth about Gandhi and Malcolm? Because journalists are remarkably adept at seeing only what they want to see when a liberal dreamboat comes floating along on a river of lies.

Who knows, it might even be happening today.

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