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One Book One LCC - The True American (2015-2016): Anand Giridharadas
Resources for One Book One LCC 2015-16 - The True American
Anand Giridharadas is an author and New York Times columnist. He writes the “Admit One” column for the arts pages of The Times, and the “Letter from America” for its global edition. He previously wrote the “Currents” and “Letter from India” columns, and from 2005 to 2009 reported on India,from a base in Mumbai, for The Times and the International Herald Tribune.
He is the author of two books of narrative nonfiction: “India Calling: An Intimate Portrait of a Nation’s Remaking,” about returning to the India his parents left (Times Books, 2011); and, forthcoming in May 2014, “The True American: Murder and Mercy in Texas,” about a Muslim immigrant’s campaign to rescue from Texas’s Death Row the white supremacist who tried to kill him after 9/11 (W. W. Norton).
India Calling by Anand GiridharadasReversing his parents' immigrant path, a young American-born writer returns to India and discovers an old country making itself new Anand Giridharadas sensed something was afoot as his plane from America prepared to land in Bombay. An elderly passenger looked at him and said, "We're all trying to go that way," pointing to the rear. "You, you're going this way?" Giridharadas was returning to the land of his ancestors, amid an unlikely economic boom. But he was interested less in its gold rush than in its cultural upheaval, as a new generation has sought to reconcile old traditions and customs with new ambitions and dreams. InIndia Calling, Giridharadas brings to life the people and the dilemmas of India today, through the prism of his émigré family history and his childhood memories of India. He introduces us to entrepreneurs, radicals, industrialists, and religious seekers, but, most of all, to Indian families. He shows how parents and children, husbands and wives, cousins and siblings are reinventing relationships, bending the meaning of Indianness, and enduring the pangs of the old birthing the new. Through their stories, and his own, he paints an intimate portrait of a country becoming modern while striving to remain itself.
Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World by Anand GiridharadasAn insider's groundbreaking investigation of how the global elite's efforts to "change the world" preserve the status quo and obscure their role in causing the problems they later seek to solve. Former New York Times columnist Anand Giridharadas takes us into the inner sanctums of a new gilded age, where the rich and powerful fight for equality and justice any way they can--except ways that threaten the social order and their position atop it. We see how they rebrand themselves as saviors of the poor; how they lavishly reward "thought leaders" who redefine "change" in winner-friendly ways; and how they constantly seek to do more good, but never less harm. We hear the limousine confessions of a celebrated foundation boss; witness an American president hem and haw about his plutocratic benefactors; and attend a cruise-ship conference where entrepreneurs celebrate their own self-interested magnanimity. Giridharadas asks hard questions: Why, for example, should our gravest problems be solved by the unelected upper crust instead of the public institutions it erodes by lobbying and dodging taxes? He also points toward an answer: Rather than rely on scraps from the winners, we must take on the grueling democratic work of building more robust, egalitarian institutions and truly changing the world. A call to action for elites and everyday citizens alike.