From the 17th century onwards, "scandalous memoirs" by supposed libertines , serving a public taste for titillation, have been frequently published. Typically pseudonymous , they were (and are) largely works of fiction written by ghostwriters . So-called "autobiographies" of modern professional athletes and media celebrities—and to a lesser extent about politicians, generally written by a ghostwriter , are routinely published. Some celebrities, such as Naomi Campbell , admit to not having read their "autobiographies". [ citation needed ] . Some sensationalist autobiographies such as James Frey's A Million Little Pieces have been publicly exposed as having embellished or fictionalized significant details of the authors' lives.
As the life story of Paramahansa Yogananda — who is often referred to as the Father of Yoga in the West — this book has touched the hearts and minds of millions around the globe. Translated into forty-five languages , it has served as an ambassador for India's ancient science of Yoga, introducing countless readers to the methods for attaining God-realization that are India's unique and lasting contribution to world civilization.
Hailed as a masterpiece from its first appearance in print in 1946, the book was honored in 1999 as one of “100 Best Spiritual Books of the Century.” Today, this story of a life of unmistakable greatness continues its success in opening to the public a realm of liberating spiritual knowledge previously accessible only to a few.