Anand Gopal

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Anand Gopal
Journalist Anand Gopal
Anand Gopal
Known forCoverage of the Middle East

Anand Gopal is a journalist and author of No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban and the War Through Afghan Eyes,[1][2][3] which describes the travails of three Afghans caught in the war on terror. It was a finalist for the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for general non-fiction.


Gopal is notable for his reporting in Afghanistan and the Middle East. He is believed to be one of the few Western journalists to have embedded with the Taliban, an experience that forms part of the basis of No Good Men Among the Living. In 2012 Gopal reported for Harper's Magazine on the town of Taftanaz in Syria, which suffered a massacre at the hands of the regime of Bashar al-Assad.[4] In 2014 he reported for Harper's on a murderous U.S.-backed police chief in Kandahar, Afghanistan.[5]

He has reported for The New York Times, The Atlantic and Harpers and other outlets. Gopal's views on the Taliban have been quoted in several books.[6][7][8] From 2012–2014, Gopal was a Bernard L. Schwartz Fellow at the New America Foundation.[9]

In January 2010 Gopal published a story about secret prisons in Afghanistan, run by JSOC Joint Special Operations Command.[10]

Gopal was one of the experts on Afghanistan chosen to appear in the documentary Rethink Afghanistan.[11][12]

Gopal conducted a rare interview with Gulbuddin Hekmatyar the reclusive leader of one of the Taliban's most important allies.[13]

Gopal was a resident of Manhattan when terrorists attacked the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.[14]


His book was a finalist for the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for general non-fiction, the 2014 National Book Award and the 2015 Helen Bernstein Award.[1][14] It was awarded the 2015 Ridenhour Prize for demonstrating "why the United States' emphasis on counterterrorism at the expense of nation-building and reconciliation inadvertently led to the Taliban's resurgence after 2001." [15]


  1. ^ a b Meredith Turits (2014-09-17). "2014 National Book Awards Longlist for Nonfiction Released, and Roz Chast Is an Awesome Pick". Retrieved 2015-03-07. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ Kim Barker (2014-04-25). "Hostile Climate: 'No Good Men Among the Living,' by Anand Gopal". The New York Times. p. BR18. Retrieved 2015-03-07. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ Laura King (2014-05-01). "Review: The war correspondents' view from Afghanistan". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2015-03-07. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ Anand Gopal (April 2012). "Welcome to Free Syria: Meeting the rebel government of an embattled country". Harper's Magazine. Retrieved 2015-03-08. Traveling with me from the Turkish border to Taftanaz was Wassim Omar, an acquaintance of Malek’s whom I would see several times during the week I spent in Syria. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ Anand Gopal (September 2014). "Kandahar's Mystery Executions: Are the Afghan police using torture to achieve peace?". Harper's Magazine. Retrieved 2015-03-08. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ Amy Goodman; Denis Moynihan; Bill Moyers (2009). Breaking the Sound Barrier. Haymarket Books. p. 48. ISBN 9781931859998. Retrieved 2010-11-21. Anand Gopal, Afghanistan correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor, described the situation on the ground: ‘A lot of Afghans that I speak to in these southern areas where the fighting has been happening say that to bring more troops, that's going to mean more civilian casualties. It'll mean more of these night raids, which have been deeply unpopula amongst Afghans... Whenever American soldiers go into a village and then leave, the Taliban comes and attacks the village.’ CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ Calvin F. Exoo (2009). The Pen and the Sword: Press, War, and Terror in the 21st Century. SAGE publishers. ISBN 9781412953603. Retrieved 2010-11-21. As is often true of conventional wisdoms, this one was more conventional than wise. Afghanistan-based Christian Science Monitor reporter Anand Gopal has recently pointed out that the Taliban is "far from monolithic," a coalition of convenience made up of "nationalists, Islamists and bandits." For most of them

    foreign fighters, especially al Qaeda, have little ideological influence ... al Qaeda's vision of global jihad doesn't resonate in the rugged highlands and windswept deserts of Afghanistan. Instead in a world of endless war, roving bandits and Hellfire missiles, support goes to those who can bring security.

    CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ Susie Linfield (2010). The Cruel Radiance: Photography and Political Violence. University of Chicago Press. p. 279. ISBN 9780226482507. Retrieved 2010-11-21. The Taliban have also executed children, as reported by Anand Gopal... CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ "New America Announces 2013 Schwartz Fellows". New America Foundation. 2012-04-30. Archived from the original on 2012-05-02. Retrieved 2012-05-23. As a Schwartz Fellow, Gopal will study the evolution of insurgencies and revolutionary movements in South Asia and the Middle East. He is working on a book about the U.S. war in Afghanistan, and also has reported regularly from throughout the Middle East, where he has covered the revolutions in Egypt, Libya and Syria. From 2007-2010, he was an Afghanistan-based correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor and The Wall Street Journal. He is a graduate of New York University and did graduate work in physics and chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ Anand Gopal (2009-04-07). "Audiocast: A Conversation with Anand Gopal on America's Secret Afghan Prisons". The Nation. Archived from the original on 2010-02-17. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ "Rethinking Afghanistan: Is Obama's Strategy a Dead End?". The Nation. 2009-04-07. Archived from the original on 2010-02-17. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  12. ^ "Rethink Afghanistan". Archived from the original on 2010-02-17. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  13. ^ Anand Gopal (2010-06-09). "Interview with Afghan warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar: Can peace talks succeed?". The Christian Science Monitor. Archived from the original on 2010-11-21. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  14. ^ a b Joseph Richard Preville (2014-06-24). "No Good Men Among the Living : America, the Taliban and the War Through Afghan Eyes (Book Q & A)". Islamicommentary. Archived from the original on 2014-06-28. Retrieved 2015-03-08. Gopal, currently a Bernard L. Schwartz Fellow at the New America Foundation, covered the War in Afghanistan from 2008-2012 primarily for The Wall Street Journal and The Christian Science Monitor. He was living in Manhattan on 9/11, and the shocking experience jolted him to investigate America’s response to the terrorist attack "on a strange and distant battlefield." CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  15. ^ "Ridenhour Book Prize 2015". The Ridenhour Prizes. 2015-03-23.