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The Unwinding

The Unwinding

Hardback

By (author) George Packer

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  • Publisher: Faber & Faber Non-Fiction
  • Format: Hardback | 448 pages
  • Dimensions: 162mm x 238mm x 42mm | 660g
  • Publication date: 13 June 2013
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0571251285
  • ISBN 13: 9780571251285
  • Sales rank: 84,200

Product description

Just over a decade into the new millennium, America is beset by a sense of crisis. The seismic shifts that occurred in the space of a generation have created a country of winners and losers, leaving the social contract in pieces. In "The Unwinding", George Packer narrates the story of America over the past three decades, bringing to the task his empathy with people facing difficult challenges, his sharp eye for detail and a gift for weaving together engaging narratives. "The Unwinding" moves deftly back and forth through the lives of half a dozen characters, including Dean Price, the son of tobacco farmers who becomes an evangelist for a new economy in the rural South; Tammy Thomas, a factory worker in the industrial Midwest trying to survive the collapse of her city; Jeff Connaughton, a Washington careerist; and Peter Thiel, a Silicon Valley billionaire. The narrative alternates these intimately told stories with biographical sketches of the era's leading public figures, from Oprah Winfrey to Steve Jobs, capturing the year-by-year flow of events. "The Unwinding" portrays a superpower coming apart at the seams, its elites and institutions no longer working, leaving ordinary people to improvise their own schemes for salvation.

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Author information

George Packer writes for the New Yorker and lives in Brooklyn. The Assassin's Gate, his celebrated account of how America convinced itself to go to war with Iraq, is published by Faber and won the Helen Bernstein Book Award and an Overseas Press Club's book awardHe is also the author of The Village of Waiting, about his experience of Africa, and Blood of the Liberals,a history of his family and of twentieth-century American liberalism.

Review quote

Packer's is an American voice of exceptional clarity and humanity in a tradition of reportage that renders the quotidian extraordinary. When our descendants survey the ruins of this modern imperium and sift its cultural detritus, American voices like this will be the tiny treasures that endure. -- David Goldblatt Independent 20130615 This angry, wise and moving state-of-the-union address is too subtle and clever to be prescriptive. Packer offers no simplistic solutions. But here's the thing. The writing in this fine work showcases the very same qualities of democratic generosity and fair-mindedness whose supposed disappearance in America its author most laments. The old Dream may be down, but it's not out yet. -- Melanie McGrath Sunday Telegraph 20130616 Packer is among the best non-fiction writers in America ... In its sensibility, The Unwinding is closer to a novel than a work of fiction. It is all the more powerful for it. -- Edward Luce The Financial Times 20130616