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Speaking to the World

Anand  Giridharadas

Anand Giridharadas

New York Times Columnist & Author


Anand Giridharadas is a writer. He is the author, most recently, of The True American: Murder and Mercy in Texas, about a Muslim immigrant’s campaign to spare from Death Row the white supremacist who tried to kill him (optioned for movie adaption by Annapurna Pictures). In 2011 he published India Calling: An Intimate Portrait of a Nation’s Remaking,” about returning to the India his parents left. Read More >

He is an on-air political analyst for NBC News and MSNBC, and a visiting scholar at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University. He is a former columnist and correspondent for The New York Times, having written, most recently, the biweekly “Letter from America.” His datelines have included Italy, India, China, Dubai, Norway, Japan, Haiti, Brazil, Colombia, Nigeria, Uruguay, and the United States. He has also written for The Times's arts, business, and travel pages, and its Book Review, Sunday Review, and magazine--and for The Atlantic, The New Yorker, and elsewhere.

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, he was raised there, in Paris, France, and in Maryland, and educated at the University of Michigan, Oxford, and Harvard. He worked briefly as a consultant for McKinsey & Company in Mumbai, before becoming a journalist in 2005, reporting from that city for the International Herald Tribune and The Times for four and a half years. He was appointed a columnist in 2008. He first interned for The New York Times at age 17, writing two articles on money and politics under the tutelage of Jill Abramson.

He appears regularly on TV and the radio in the United States and globally, including on CNN, MSNBC, NPR, “Morning Joe,” and "The Daily Show." He has given talks on the main stage of TED and at Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, Yale, Princeton, the University of Michigan, the Aspen Institute, Summit at Sea, the Sydney Opera House, the United Nations, the Asia Society, PopTech and Google. He has received honors from the Society of Publishers in Asia, the South Asian Journalists Association, the Poynter Fellowship in Journalism at Yale, and the New York Public Library’s Helen Bernstein Award. He is a Henry Crown fellow of the Aspen Institute.

Anand lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife, Priya Parker, and son, Orion. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

TEDTalk: A Tale of Two Americas. And the Mini-mart Where They Collided

Opening Keynote, Obama Foundation Summit

Truth is Social: How Technology Has Changed Perceptions of Reality

Chinese Youth

Hopeful for a More Globalized Society

The Digital Soul: The Spread of Digital Life

Interview with CNN

India Calling

Speech Topics

The True American: Murder and Mercy in Texas

Anand Giridharadas, author of the accomplished India Calling, has released his intriguing new book entitled The True American: Murder and Mercy in Texas (2014). In this speech for college audiences, literary groups and others, Giridharadas discusses his book and the themes of racism, immigration and learning what it means to be a “true American.” He tells the story of the fateful encounter between Mark Stroman, a racist ex-con in Dallas who went on a killing spree targeting men he wrongly thought were Arabs after 9/11, and Raisuddin Bhuiyan, a Bangladeshi-born convenience-store clerk who was shot by Stroman, but survived. The True American is a deeply moving exploration of the American dream and its many dimensions, making us all question how – or whether – we choose what we become.

Democracy is Not a Supermarket

In this motivational speech, Anand Giridharadas shares how to effectively enact change within one's world. Based on his upcoming book Winners Take All, he discusses the importance of staying rooted in one's community, understanding the perspectives and experiences of people who appear to be different, and adjusting to challenging times in order to find solutions. He debunks common myths and illusions surrounding the concept of "world-changing," which ultimately impede the process. According to Giridharadas, it is imperative for leaders to understand that not everything can stay the same—one cannot pick and choose which changes they wish to make, without affecting the entire community as a result. He describes citizenship as an active process rather than a passive title, and explains to audiences how each and every person can play a role in shaping change.