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  • Published: 6 February 2024
  • ISBN: 9780141996974
  • Imprint: Penguin Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 352
  • RRP: $24.99

The Persuaders

Winning Hearts and Minds in a Divided Age

A riveting insider account of how activists, politicians, educators and citizens are working to change minds, bridge divisions and save democracy from the bestselling author of Winners Take All

It once seemed possible to build a political movement out of people with different ideas, different identities and different ways of looking at the world. If somebody disagreed with you, you brought them on side; convincing them of your point of view. Politics was civil and optimistic. But in our modern polarized world of cancel culture and conspiracy theory, all that seems a distant memory: it feels like we've long abandoned to the past the art of persuasion.

And yet, as bestselling writer Anand Giridharadas finds, things are changing. Journeying into the heart of some of our most contentious and urgent political battles - from Black Lives Matter to the Trump resistance, from vaccine myths to QAnon - Giridharadas discovers a diverse group of dissenters who continue to struggle for consensus, who remain committed to idea that to change the world, one must first change minds.

Combining gripping on-the-ground experience with the revelatory insights of activists, organisers, politicians and educators, The Persuaders is the book for a time in need of mending. It is the story of a new kind of politics: one that is fierce in its pursuit of justice and earnest in its desire to improve people's lives, but also open, welcoming and, above all else, persuasive.

  • Published: 6 February 2024
  • ISBN: 9780141996974
  • Imprint: Penguin Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 352
  • RRP: $24.99

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Praise for The Persuaders

Giridharadas proves how senseless it is to lambast ideological opponents, especially when they're actually goodhearted and persuadable. Reassuringly sane, The Persuaders shows people are often less hardline and more conflicted than they seem

The Irish Times, Books of the Year

I was fascinated by The Persuaders by Anand Giridharadas - it's changed my view on the way we can (or can't) change people's minds

Erica Wagner, New Statesman

The Persuaders provides the urgent wisdom we need to fix our broken world. It is a call for an army of persuaders-the teachers, listeners, and peacemakers willing to take the necessary risks to have a working society again. In a culture where everyone we disagree with is written-off, Giridharadas asks us to write our neighbors, friends, and family members back into our lives. This is the book every reader needs now, because we need each other more than ever

Min Jin Lee, author of Pachinko

An engaging and provocative study of the dangers of political purity

Emma Brockes, The Observer

Illuminating and entertaining . . . while the world seems to counsel despair, The Persuaders is animated by a sense of possibility

The New York Times

A handbook for defending democracy


An incredibly hopeful book . . . Every now and then, I come across something that makes me think in a completely new way, and this was one of those times. . . . It's just so good

Brené Brown, Unlocking Us

Giridharadas has already established himself as a major chronicler of one of our great divides - the disparities of income and opportunity that undergird American plutocracy. Now he turns his attention to another kind of gulf, one that's just as endemic and dangerous: ideology. It's one thing to diagnose and quite another to offer real solutions, but in this wide-ranging and profound book, Giridharadas explores real strategies for bridging these divides by finding a language in which we can speak to one another, and persuade. Reading The Persuaders I felt something I hadn't in quite a while: a tremor of hope

Patrick Radden Keefe, author of Empire of Pain

At the heart of The Persuaders is an immense spirit of generosity. With clarity and nuance, Anand Giridharadas paints portraits of people who are pushing the boundaries of traditional political paradigms, and whose work serves as a clarion call for all of us to imagine a new set of political possibilities. It is both a challenge and an affirmation. This is a guidebook to a better world

Clint Smith, author of How the Word Is Passed

I was profoundly moved by The Persuaders. It is full of counterintuitive wisdom for repairing a broken world. In a cynical and hate-filled culture, what would it take for us to become persuaders? The beautifully written profiles are affecting and urgently needed because our world can no longer wait

Min Jin Lee, The Sydney Morning Herald, Best Books of 2022