Greg Grandin is the author of a number of prize-winning books, including most recently The Empire of Necessity: Slavery, Freedom, and Deception in the New World, which won the Bancroft Prize in American History and was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize in the UK. NPR’s Maureen Corrigan on Fresh Air named The Empire of Necessity as the best book of 2014, both non-fiction and fiction. He is also the author of Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford’s Forgotten Jungle City (Metropolitan 2009). A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in History, as well as for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award, Fordlandia was picked by the New York Times, New Yorker, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune and NPR for their "best of" lists, and Amazon.com named it the best history book of 2009.
Timothy Rutten of the The Los Angeles Times writes of Fordlandia: "Greg Grandin has taken what heretofore seemed . . . a marginal event. . . and turned it into a fascinating historical narrative that illuminates the auto industry’s contemporary crisis, the problems of globalization and the contradictions of contemporary consumerism. For all of that, this is not, however, history freighted with political pedantry. Grandin is one of blessedly expanding group of gifted American historians who assume that whatever moral the story of the past may yield, it must be a story well told. . . Fordlandia is precisely that—a genuinely readable history recounted with a novelist’s sense of pace and an eye for character. It’s a significant contribution to our understanding of ourselves and engrossingly enjoyable.” And The American Scholar says that "Grandin takes full command of a complicated narrative with numerous threads, and the story spills out in precisely the right tone—about midway between Joseph Conrad and Evelyn Waugh.”
Toni Morrison called Grandin's new work, The Empire of Necessity, "compelling, brilliant and necessary." Released in early 2014, the book narrates the history of a slave-ship revolt that inspired Herman Melville's other masterpiece, Benito Cereno. Philip Gourevitch describes it as a "rare book in which the drama of the action and the drama of ideas are equally measured, a work of history and of literary reflection that is as urgent as it is timely."
Grandin is also the author of Empire’s Workshop: Latin America, the United States, and the Rise of the New Empire (Metropolitan 2005), The Last Colonial Massacre: Latin America During the Cold War (University of Chicago Press 2004), and Blood of Guatemala: A History of Race and Nation (Duke University Press, 2000), which won the Latin American Studies Association’s Bryce Wood Award for the best book published on Latin America in any discipline. With Gil Joseph, is edited A Century of Revolution, also published by Duke University Press.
A professor of history at NYU and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Grandin writes on US foreign policy, Latin America, genocide, and human rights. He has published in The New York Times, Harper’s, The London Review of Books, The Nation, The Boston Review, The Los Angeles Times, and The American Historical Review. He has been a frequent guest on Democracy Now! and has appeared on The Charlie Rose Show. Grandin also served as a consultant to the United Nations truth commission on Guatemala and has been the recipient of a number of prestigious fellowships, including the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship.