True American: Murder and Mercy in Texas

The True American: Murder and Mercy in Texas

By Anand Giridharadas

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Winner of the NYPL Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism Named a Best Book of the Year by the New York Times , the Boston Globe , NPR, and Publishers Weekly "Haunting. . . . [A]mong the most riveting nonfiction I have read in a long time. . . . The True American gives you new eyes on your nation, makes you wonder about both the recent South Asian immigrant behind the counter at the food mart and the tattooed white man behind you in line.

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Book Information

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publish Date: 04/06/2015
Pages: 336
ISBN-13: 9780393350791
ISBN-10: 0393350797
Language: English

Full Description

The True American tells the story of Raisuddin Bhuiyan, a Bangladesh Air Force officer who dreams of immigrating to America and working in technology. But days after 9/11, an avowed "American terrorist" named Mark Stroman, seeking revenge, walks into the Dallas minimart where Bhuiyan has found temporary work and shoots him, maiming and nearly killing him. Two more victims, at other gas stations, die instantly.

The True American traces the making of these two men, Stroman and Bhuiyan, and of their fateful encounter. It follows them as they rebuild shattered lives--one striving on death row to become a better man, the other to heal and pull himself up from the lowest rung on the ladder of an unfamiliar country. Ten years after the shooting, an Islamic pilgrimage seeds in Bhuiyan a strange idea: if he is ever to be whole, he must reenter Stroman's life. He longs to confront Stroman and speak to him face to face about the attack that changed their lives. Bhuiyan publicly forgives Stroman, in the name of his religion and its notion of mercy. Then he wages a legal and public-relations campaign, against the state of Texas and Governor Rick Perry, to have his attacker spared from the death penalty.

Ranging from Texas's juvenile justice system to the swirling crowd of pilgrims at the Hajj in Mecca; from a biker bar to an immigrant mosque in Dallas; from young military cadets in Bangladesh to elite paratroopers in Israel; from a wealthy household of chicken importers in Karachi, Pakistan, to the sober residences of Brownwood, Texas, The True American is a rich, profoundly moving exploration of the American dream in its many dimensions. It helps us to consider our love-hate relationship with immigrants, the underpinnings of domestic terrorism, and how--or whether--we choose what we become.

About the Author

Anand Giridharadas is the author of Winners Take All, The True American, and India Calling. He is an editor-at-large for TIME and was a foreign correspondent and columnist for The New York Times from 2005 to 2016. He has also written for The Atlantic, The New Republic, and The New Yorker.

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