November 26, 2022
If you’re concerned about political division in the United States, you’re not alone. If you’re wondering how to address that division, Anand Giridharadas has ideas.
International journalist and author Giridharadas will share insights from his most recent book, The Persuaders: At the Front Lines of the Fight for Hearts, Minds, and Democracy,at a public event at 7 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 12, in the Belbas Theater at the Washington Pavilion in Sioux Falls.
In conversation with Jon Hunter, publisher emeritus of the Madison Daily Leader, Giridharadas will discuss the state of democracy in the United States and suggest ways of conducting the difficult conversations that can help bridge our nation’s divisions.
“I think if you look at our political debate, it’s so easy to be fatalistic, for good reason. It just feels like people are immovable,” Giridharadas told NPR recently. “[But] once you give up on the idea that you can change minds, you’re kind of giving up on the idea of democracy.”
The event is the culmination of SDHC’s year-long programming for the “A More Perfect Union” initiative, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. At the South Dakota Festival of Books in September, SDHC hosted several speakers who shared unique perspectives on the nation’s founding promises.
“Because 2022 marks SDHC’s 50th anniversary and 20th annual Festival, it has been especially appropriate to reflect on the past and plan for the future – not only for our organization, but for our nation,” said executive director Ann Volin. “The AMPU initiative has allowed us to create programs that highlight diverse voices reflecting on what it means to be a United States citizen, while also fulfilling one of the three main prongs of our mission: promoting civil conversation.”
The Dec. 12 event will be followed by a book signing, with copies of Giridharadas’ work available for purchase from Zandbroz Variety.
More about Anand Giridharadas
Giridharadas is the author of The Persuaders: At the Front Lines of the Fight for Hearts, Minds, and Democracy (2022), Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World (2018), The True American: Murder and Mercy in Texas (2014), and India Calling: An Intimate Portrait of a Nation’s Remaking (2011). A former foreign correspondent and columnist for The New York Times for more than a decade, he has also written for The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and Time, and he is the publisher of the newsletter The Ink.
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 has spoken on stages around the world and taught narrative journalism at New York University. He is a regular on-air political analyst for MSNBC.
Giridharadas has received the Radcliffe Fellowship, the Porchlight Business Book of the Year Award, Harvard University’s Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award for Humanism in Culture, and the New York Public Library’s Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife, Priya Parker, and their two children.
More about Jon Hunter
Hunter is publisher emeritus of the Madison Daily Leader and a member of the South Dakota Newspaper Hall of Fame. During his 31-year tenure as Daily Leader publisher, he wrote more than 5,000 editorials on a wide range of local, state, and national issues. He is also a member of the Dakota Political Junkies, a rotating group of journalists, political science professors, and former state legislators who are heard on South Dakota Public Broadcasting’s noon radio show In the Moment. Hunter is a founding director of South Dakota News Watch and a graduate of Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business.
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