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The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America

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The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America Cover

ISBN13: 9780374102418
ISBN10: 0374102414
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Awards

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A riveting examination of a nation in crisis, from one of the finest political journalists of our generation.

Our American democracy is beset by a sense of crisis. Seismic economic shifts during a single generation have created a country of winners and losers, leaving the social contract in pieces and setting citizens adrift to find new paths forward. In The Unwinding, George Packer narrates the story of this America over the past three decades with his characteristically sharp eye for detail and gift for weaving together complex narratives.

The Unwinding journeys through the lives of several Americans, including Dean Price, the son of tobacco farmers, and an evangelist for a new economy in the rural South; Tammy Thomas, a factory worker in the Rust Belt trying to survive the collapse of her city; Jeff Connaughton, a Washington insider who oscillates between political idealism and the lure of organized money; and Peter Thiel, a Silicon Valley billionaire who questions the Internet's significance and possesses a radical vision of the future.

The narrative combines these intimate stories with biographical sketches of the eras leading public figures from Newt Gingrich to Jay-Z, and with collages of headlines, slogans, and songs that capture the flow of events and undercurrents. The Unwinding portrays a superpower in danger of coming apart at the seams, its elites no longer elite, its institutions no longer relevant, its ordinary people left to improvise their own schemes for success and salvation.

Review:

“George Packer is a modern-day George Orwell....The places he writes about are never stages for personal or ideological heroism. They are always real and full of frustrating facts that expose both liberal and conservative absolutism as reckless attempts to deny reality.” Jed Lipinski, The Village Voice

Review:

“Trenchant...[the] brief biographies of seminal figures that shaped the current state of affairs offer the books fiercest prose, such as in Packers brutal takedown of Robert Rubin, secretary of the Treasury during some key 1990s financial deregulation that amplified the severity of the Great Recession of 2008. Packer has a keen eye for the big story in the small moment, writing about our fraying social fabric with talent that matches his dismay.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Review:

“Exemplary journalism....A foundational document in the literature of the end of America.” Kirkus (starred review)

Review:

“A broad and compelling perspective on a nation in crisis...an illuminating, in-depth, sometimes frightening view of the complexities of decline and the enduring hope of recovery.” Booklist (starred review)

Review:

“George Packer has crafted a unique, irresistible contraption of a book. Not since John Dos Passoss celebrated U.S.A. trilogy, which The Unwinding recollects and rivals, has a writer so cunningly plumbed the seething undercurrents of American life. The result is a sad but delicious jazz-tempo requiem for the post-World War II American social contract. You will often laugh through your tears at these tales of lives of ever-less-quiet desperation in a land going ever-more-noisily berserk.” David M. Kennedy, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Freedom from Fear and Over Here

Review:

The Unwinding is the extraordinary story of what's happened to our country over the past thirty years. George Packer gives us an intimate look into American lives that have been transformed by the dissolution of all the things that used to hold us together. The result is an epic — wondrous, bracing, and true — that will stand as the defining book of our time.” Dexter Filkins, author of The Forever War

Review:

The Unwinding presents a big, gorgeous, sad, utterly absorbing panorama of the relentless breakdown of the American social compact over a generation. George Packer communicates the scope and the human experience of the enormous change that is his subject better than any writer has so far.” Nicholas Leman, author of Redemption and The Promised Land

Review:

“Original, incisive, courageous, and essential. One of the best works of nonfiction I've read in years.” Katherine Boo, National Book Award-winning author of Behind the Beautiful Forevers

Review:

“George Packer serves us the history of our own life and times in a magisterial look at the America we lost.” Lawrence Wright, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Looming Tower and Going Clear

Review:

“The hearts and lives broken in this second great depression have now found their eloquent voice and fierce champion in George Packer. The Unwinding is an American tragedy and a literary triumph.” David Frum, author of Comeback and Why Romney Lost

Review:

“As with George Orwell's, each of George Packer's sentences carries a pulse of moral force. The Unwinding is a sweeping and powerful book that everyone should read.” David Gran, author of The Lost City of Z

Synopsis:

A riveting examination of a nation in crisis, from one of the finest political journalists of our generation

American democracy is beset by a sense of crisis. Seismic shifts during a single generation have created a country of winners and losers, allowing unprecedented freedom while rending the social contract, driving the political system to the verge of breakdown, and setting citizens adrift to find new paths forward. In The Unwinding, George Packer, author of The Assassins Gate: America in Iraq, tells the story of the United States over the past three decades in an utterly original way, with his characteristically sharp eye for detail and gift for weaving together complex narratives.

The Unwinding journeys through the lives of several Americans, 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 Rust Belt trying to survive the collapse of her city; Jeff Connaughton, a Washington insider oscillating between political idealism and the lure of organized money; and Peter Thiel, a Silicon Valley billionaire who questions the Internets significance and arrives at a radical vision of the future. Packer interweaves these intimate stories with biographical sketches of the eras leading public figures, from Newt Gingrich to Jay-Z, and collages made from newspaper headlines, advertising slogans, and song lyrics that capture the flow of events and their undercurrents.

The Unwinding portrays a superpower in danger of coming apart at the seams, its elites no longer elite, its institutions no longer working, its ordinary people left to improvise their own schemes for success and salvation. Packers novelistic and kaleidoscopic history of the new America is his most ambitious work to date.

About the Author

George Packer is a staff writer for The New Yorker and the author of The Assassins Gate: America in Iraq, which received several prizes and was named one of the ten best books of 2005 by The New York Times Book Review. He is also the author of two novels, The Half Man and Central Square, and two works of nonfiction, The Village of Waiting and Blood of the Liberals, which won the 2001 Robert F. Kennedy Book Award. His play, Betrayed, based on a New Yorker article, ran in Manhattan for five months in 2008 and won the Lucille Lortel Award for best Off Broadway play. His most recent book is Interesting Times: Writings from a Turbulent Decade. He lives in Brooklyn.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

AchillesX, November 27, 2013 (view all comments by AchillesX)
My late father, while standing all-day 40-years on, vigorously and masterfully hand-winded copper coils as a machinist.
Charley was the factory's last man to perform such a task manually when he retired in 1971. Rapid innovations in engineering
technology; quality control benchmarks; transformation of corporate ownership-direction-product lines-fiscal accounting;
factory renovations, retooling, re-locations, closings; both management and worker downsizing; benefits & pension restructuring;...
altogether erupted throughout the State of Ohio and across the Midwest, elsewhere during the '70s---inevitably leading
an America (for which immigrant Charley worked tirelessly, lived honestly, & honored its social contract) into ongoing decades
of seething, excruciating 'UNWINDING'.
This is the theme of George Packer's eagle-eyed, sweeping 30+ years' state-of-the-Union narrative,
THE UNWINDING: AN INNER HISTORY OF THE NEW AMERICA. *Winner of the 2013 National Book Award for Nonfiction*
Hardcover - Published May 2013
Paperback - Available March 2014

Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No

Product Details

ISBN:
9780374102418
Subtitle:
An Inner History of the New America
Author:
Packer, George
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Subject:
Politics - General
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20130521
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Note on Sources
Pages:
448
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 1 lb

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The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$18.50 In Stock
Product details 448 pages Farrar Straus Giroux - English 9780374102418 Reviews:
"Review" by , “George Packer is a modern-day George Orwell....The places he writes about are never stages for personal or ideological heroism. They are always real and full of frustrating facts that expose both liberal and conservative absolutism as reckless attempts to deny reality.”
"Review" by , “Trenchant...[the] brief biographies of seminal figures that shaped the current state of affairs offer the books fiercest prose, such as in Packers brutal takedown of Robert Rubin, secretary of the Treasury during some key 1990s financial deregulation that amplified the severity of the Great Recession of 2008. Packer has a keen eye for the big story in the small moment, writing about our fraying social fabric with talent that matches his dismay.”
"Review" by , “Exemplary journalism....A foundational document in the literature of the end of America.”
"Review" by , “A broad and compelling perspective on a nation in crisis...an illuminating, in-depth, sometimes frightening view of the complexities of decline and the enduring hope of recovery.”
"Review" by , “George Packer has crafted a unique, irresistible contraption of a book. Not since John Dos Passoss celebrated U.S.A. trilogy, which The Unwinding recollects and rivals, has a writer so cunningly plumbed the seething undercurrents of American life. The result is a sad but delicious jazz-tempo requiem for the post-World War II American social contract. You will often laugh through your tears at these tales of lives of ever-less-quiet desperation in a land going ever-more-noisily berserk.”
"Review" by , The Unwinding is the extraordinary story of what's happened to our country over the past thirty years. George Packer gives us an intimate look into American lives that have been transformed by the dissolution of all the things that used to hold us together. The result is an epic — wondrous, bracing, and true — that will stand as the defining book of our time.”
"Review" by , The Unwinding presents a big, gorgeous, sad, utterly absorbing panorama of the relentless breakdown of the American social compact over a generation. George Packer communicates the scope and the human experience of the enormous change that is his subject better than any writer has so far.”
"Review" by , “Original, incisive, courageous, and essential. One of the best works of nonfiction I've read in years.”
"Review" by , “George Packer serves us the history of our own life and times in a magisterial look at the America we lost.”
"Review" by , “The hearts and lives broken in this second great depression have now found their eloquent voice and fierce champion in George Packer. The Unwinding is an American tragedy and a literary triumph.”
"Review" by , “As with George Orwell's, each of George Packer's sentences carries a pulse of moral force. The Unwinding is a sweeping and powerful book that everyone should read.”
"Synopsis" by ,

A riveting examination of a nation in crisis, from one of the finest political journalists of our generation

American democracy is beset by a sense of crisis. Seismic shifts during a single generation have created a country of winners and losers, allowing unprecedented freedom while rending the social contract, driving the political system to the verge of breakdown, and setting citizens adrift to find new paths forward. In The Unwinding, George Packer, author of The Assassins Gate: America in Iraq, tells the story of the United States over the past three decades in an utterly original way, with his characteristically sharp eye for detail and gift for weaving together complex narratives.

The Unwinding journeys through the lives of several Americans, 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 Rust Belt trying to survive the collapse of her city; Jeff Connaughton, a Washington insider oscillating between political idealism and the lure of organized money; and Peter Thiel, a Silicon Valley billionaire who questions the Internets significance and arrives at a radical vision of the future. Packer interweaves these intimate stories with biographical sketches of the eras leading public figures, from Newt Gingrich to Jay-Z, and collages made from newspaper headlines, advertising slogans, and song lyrics that capture the flow of events and their undercurrents.

The Unwinding portrays a superpower in danger of coming apart at the seams, its elites no longer elite, its institutions no longer working, its ordinary people left to improvise their own schemes for success and salvation. Packers novelistic and kaleidoscopic history of the new America is his most ambitious work to date.

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