• The Persuaders

  • At the Front Lines of the Fight for Hearts, Minds, and Democracy
  • By: Anand Giridharadas
  • Narrated by: Anand Giridharadas
  • Length: 12 hrs and 21 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (135 ratings)

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The Persuaders

By: Anand Giridharadas
Narrated by: Anand Giridharadas
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Publisher's Summary

An insider account of activists, politicians, educators, and everyday citizens working to change minds, bridge divisions, and fight for democracy—from disinformation fighters to a leader of Black Lives Matter to Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and more—by the best-selling author of Winners Take All and award-winning former New York Times columnist

“Anand Giridharadas shows the way we get real progressive change in America—by refusing to write others off, building more welcoming movements, and rededicating ourselves to the work of changing minds.”—Robert B. Reich, best-selling author of The System

The lifeblood of any free society is persuasion: changing other people’s minds in order to change things. But America is suffering a crisis of faith in persuasion that is putting its democracy and the planet itself at risk. Americans increasingly write one another off instead of seeking to win one another over. Debates are framed in moralistic terms, with enemies battling the righteous. Movements for justice build barriers to entry, instead of on-ramps. Political parties focus on mobilizing the faithful rather than wooing the skeptical. And leaders who seek to forge coalitions are labeled sellouts.

In The Persuaders, Anand Giridharadas takes us inside these movements and battles, seeking out the dissenters who continue to champion persuasion in an age of polarization. We meet a leader of Black Lives Matter; a trailblazer in the feminist resistance to Trumpism; white parents at a seminar on raising adopted children of color; Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez; a team of door knockers with an uncanny formula for changing minds on immigration; an ex-cult member turned QAnon deprogrammer; and, hovering menacingly offstage, Russian operatives clandestinely stoking Americans’ fatalism about one another.

As the book’s subjects grapple with how to call out threats and injustices while calling in those who don’t agree with them but just might one day, they point a way to healing, and changing, a fracturing country.

©2022 Anand Giridharadas (P)2022 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“Illuminating . . . For those committed to the progressive agenda, this is an incisive guide to the art of persuasion.”Publishers Weekly

“Anand Giridharadas shows the way we get real progressive change in America–by refusing to write others off, building more welcoming movements, and rededicating ourselves to the work of changing minds. If you sometimes despair at America’s capacity to achieve the common good, this book is a welcome and inspiring tonic.”—Robert B. Reich, author of The System

The Persuaders is a must-read book on how we can beat back the authoritarian menace, deliver real progress, and win a just future for all. It is a bracing wake-up call for those of us in the pro-democracy cause to change our ways if we want to win. It will teach you how to win others over while standing firm and how to reach loved ones who have succumbed to cults, lies, and demagogues. Our best days can still lie ahead of us. This brilliant book is a map to get there.”—Ro Khanna, Member of Congress

What listeners say about The Persuaders

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Everyone should read this book

It was great and taught me so much about how to relate and get through to people. If everyone read this and took it to heart I think the world would change

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Inspirational, fact- based, much needed!

This is a needed and eye-opening book that helps rebuild our failed approach to politics, one based on empathy and understanding while also honoring our authentic values.

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Essential insights and a path forward; never more important than now

The portraits of people making real and lasting social and political change through connection, listening and dialogue -across seemingly implacable divides - and the analyses of their work, provided so clearly and beautifully in this book, show us that change is possible; all hope is not inevitably lost. It’s not an easy process, but Anand Giridharadas lays out the evolution of the step-by-step processes that make this work successful, and takes us into the lives and work of the people who have taken it on. And it’s not a spectator sport - we’ve never been in a situation where precisely this work is more critical. When we are faced with a fantastically resourced machine sowing division and animosity for their own gain and the destruction of our democracy, this book demonstrates how to confront that division with meaningful and practical dialogue. It’s both refreshing and encouraging. And as a bonus, Anand Giridharadas’ narration is wonderful. If you really want to see our country come together to confront the serious challenges we face, you must read - or listen to - this book.

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Beautiful

Anand takes examples of Persuaders, the good and the evil, to show us what it takes to change hearts and minds. It is beautifully written and masterfully told. I love this book!

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Peaceful Combat Against Political Cults

This is a primer on how rational and progressive Americans can work against the idiotic menace of today’s political Right without quitting in frustration or initiating violence. It’s good reading, and more “how-to” ideas are needed. Most important is the advice for persuaders to engage not by attempting to contradict the Right winger, but to demonstrate how he or she is being conned/suckered by false populism. I hope the lessons outlined here will bring positive results in 2024 and beyond.

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Persuasive, hope filled.

Published just a few months before November 2022 US elections.

Close races notwithstanding, the methods of persuasion detailed clearly helped. A lot.

Hard work nonetheless.


Excellent narration by author.

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Wonderfully persuasive

The Persuaders makes it argument thorough stories, anecdotes that are wonderfully convincing and inspiring. I will return to its wealth of information.

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Thought-provoking and well researched

I am sure I haven’t listened to this book for the last time. It is well narrated and packed with comprehensive research and insights about the current polarisation and the skill of leading more inclusive and persuasive arguments. Highly recommend!

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Eye opening

I learned so much! Thank you. It is timely and brave and what we all need to read.

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Don’t miss!!

Amazing & direly needed in our time! Inspiring, too. Heartfelt, intelligent and emotionally intelligent. You really do want to read/ listen to this.