Anand Giridharadas

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Anand Giridharadas
Giridharadas in 2011
Giridharadas in 2011
Born (1981-09-27) September 27, 1981 (age 38)
Shaker Heights, Ohio, U.S.
OccupationAuthor, columnist
Alma materUniversity of Michigan
SubjectCulture, Politics, Technology
Notable worksIndia Calling: An Intimate Portrait of a Nation's Remaking

Anand Giridharadas/ˈɑːnənd ˌɡɪrɪˌdɑːrəˈdɑːs/[1] (born September 27, 1981)[2][3] is an American writer. He is a former columnist for The New York Times. He is the author of three books, India Calling: An Intimate Portrait of a Nation's Remaking (2011), The True American: Murder and Mercy in Texas (2014), and Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World (2018). Much of his writing has focused on India and its people.

Early life and education[edit]

Giridharadas was raised in Shaker Heights, Ohio, Maryland, and Paris, France[4][5][6] by his father and mother, Radhashyam and Nandini Giridharadas (née, Lall).[2] His childhood visits to extended family members in India sparked an interest in that country that influenced his later writing.[7] He studied politics and history at the University of Michigan.[8]


After graduating from college, he moved to Mumbai in 2003 as a consultant for the global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, where he directly followed the path of his father who was also a director at McKinsey & Company. In 2005, he became a journalist, covering India for the International Herald Tribune and The New York Times.[9] In 2009, after returning to the United States, he began to write the "Currents" column for those newspapers.[10] He also writes longer magazine pieces.[11][12][13]

As of 2010, Giridharadas was a doctoral candidate at Harvard University.[14] He is a Henry Crown fellow of the Aspen Institute,[15] and is an MSNBC commentator. He is currently a visiting scholar at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University.[16]


India Calling: An Intimate Portrait of a Nation's Remaking (2011)[edit]

In 2011, Giridharadas published his first book, India Calling: An Intimate Portrait of a Nation's Remaking.[6] In the book, he discusses the increasing opportunities provided by the Indian economy. He also delves into class issues, and has said that "in India, you're eternally a master and eternally a servant."[17]

In The Plain Dealer, Jo Gibson characterizes the work as a "readable, intriguing book" and calls Giridharadas "a marvelous journalist – intrepid, easy to like, curious."[6] In a review for The New York Times, Gaiutra Bahadur writes that "'India Calling' has what Hanif Kureishi once described as 'the sex of a syllogism.' Full-figured ideas animate every turn. So, simultaneously, does Giridharadas’s eye for contradiction. The combination both pleases us and makes us wary — distrustful of shapely ideas, including the author’s own."[18]

The True American: Murder and Mercy in Texas (2014)[edit]

In 2014, W. W. Norton and Company published his book The True American: Murder and Mercy in Texas. The book centers on executed murderer Mark Stroman and a survivor of one of his shootings, Rais Bhuiyan. The work explores Bhuiyan's forgiveness of Stroman and his campaign to save the death row inmate from capital punishment. At the time of the shootings, Stroman had thought that he was exacting revenge for the September 11, 2001 attacks, but his victims were immigrants from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.[19]

Eboo Patel reviewed the book for The Washington Post. Patel wrote that the book "zooms out and illuminates the broader social context of the lives at the center."[20] However, he noted that "while plumbing the depths of Bhuiyan’s Muslim heart, (Giridharadas) misses a wide-open opportunity to get to the heart of Islam."[20] In The Wall Street Journal, Stephen Harrigan wrote that Giridharadas is "an enterprising and clear-eyed reporter and a generally smooth writer, though every 20 pages or so there appears a glistening chunk of linguistic gristle... But occasional maladroit phrases do no serious harm to his commanding narrative."[21]

Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World (2018)[edit]

In 2018, Giridharadas published Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World in which he argues that members of the global elite, though sometimes engaged in philanthropy, use their wealth and influence to preserve systems that concentrate wealth at the top at the expense of societal progress. Writing for The New York Times, economist Joseph Stiglitz praised the book, writing that Giridharadas "writes on two levels — seemingly tactful and subtle — but ultimately he presents a devastating portrait of a whole class, one easier to satirize than to reform."[22]

Personal life[edit]

He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife, Priya B. Parker.[23]


  • Giridharadas, Anand (2011). India Calling: An Intimate Portrait of a Nation's Remaking. Times Books. New York City: Henry Holt and Company. ISBN 978-0-8050-9177-9.
  • Giridharadas, Anand (2014). The True American: Murder and Mercy in Texas. New York City: W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 978-0-393-23950-8.
  • Giridharadas, Anand (2018). Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World. New York City: Knopf. ISBN 978-0-451-49324-8.


  1. ^ As pronounced by himself in "How Donald Trump Resonates With White Male Voters" (2016).
  2. ^ a b "Anand Giridharadas (b. 1981)". Ohio Birth Records. Retrieved April 18, 2016.
  3. ^ Foley, Dylan (March 20, 2011). "Anand Giridharadas: An interview". NJ Advance Media. Giridharadas, 29, was raised in Ohio and Maryland ... his home in Cambridge, Mass
  4. ^ Stewart, Jon. January 24, 2011. The Daily Show. Comedy Central. Accessed February 24, 2011.
  5. ^ Giridharadas, Anand. The anatomy of a conflict: Afghanistan and 9/11 (2002) p. vi. ISBN 81-7436-253-3.
  6. ^ a b c "For 'India Calling,' former Clevelander Anand Giridharadas writes eloquently of two cultures". The Plain Dealer. January 4, 2011. Accessed February 24, 2011.
  7. ^ Sehgal, Parul. "Go East, Young Man". Publishers Weekly. December 6, 2010. Accessed March 8, 2013.
  8. ^ History Honors Symposium. Archived May 4, 2013, at the Wayback Machine University of Michigan Department of History. Accessed March 8, 2013.
  9. ^ Selection of Giridharadas's India coverage via Google Accessed March 8, 2013.
  10. ^ Selection of Giridharadas's "Currents" columns and other writings via Google Accessed March 8, 2013
  11. ^ Giridharadas, Anand. "The Would-Be Prince of Port-au-Prince" July 15, 2011. The New York Times Magazine. Accessed March 8, 2013.
  12. ^ Giridharadas, Anand. "The Kitchen-Table Industrialists" May 13, 2011. The New York Times Magazine. Accessed March 8, 2013.
  13. ^ Giridharadas, Anand. "V.S. Naipaul: The Constant Critic, the Lover of Animals" January 4, 2011. The Atlantic. Accessed March 8, 2013.
  14. ^ "Speakers". Harvard Asian American Alumni Association. Archived from the original on October 5, 2014. Retrieved August 9, 2014.
  15. ^ 2011 Henry Crown Fellowship Accessed March 8, 2013.
  16. ^ "Anand Giridharadas - NYU Journalism". NYU Journalism. Retrieved 2018-08-26.
  17. ^ "'India Calling': The New 'Land Of Opportunity'?". National Public Radio. Retrieved August 9, 2014.
  18. ^ Bahadur, Gaiutra (January 7, 2011). "Homeland revisited". The New York Times. Retrieved August 9, 2014.
  19. ^ Akhtar, Ayad (May 8, 2014). "Pledges of allegiance". The New York Times. Retrieved August 9, 2014.
  20. ^ a b Patel, Eboo (May 9, 2014). "Book review: 'The True American: Murder and Mercy in Texas' by Anand Giridharadas". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 9, 2014.
  21. ^ Harrigan, Stephen (May 4, 2014). "Book Review: 'The True American' by Anand Giridharadas". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 9, 2014.
  22. ^ "Meet the 'Change Agents' Who Are Enabling Inequality". Retrieved 2018-08-25.
  23. ^ Anand Giridharadas biography Accessed March 8, 2013.

External links[edit]