The Unwinding

Front Cover
Faber & Faber, Jun 10, 2013 - History - 448 pages

America is in crisis. In the space of a generation, it has become more than ever a country of winners and losers, as industries have failed, institutions have disappeared and the country's focus has shifted to idolise celebrity and wealth.

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 its people, 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 attempting to survive the collapse of her city; Jeff Connaughton, a political careerist in Washington; and Peter Thiel, a Silicon Valley billionaire. Their stories are interspersed with biographical sketches of the era's leading public figures, from Oprah Winfrey to Steve Jobs, to create a rich, wise and very human portrait of the USA in these hard times.

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.

George Packer is also the author of The Assassin's Gate, which was named one of the ten best books of 2005 by the New York Times and won the Helen Bernstein Book Award.

'A tour de force . . . A fascinating journey through an America that has largely remained hidden from view. There are echoes of Don DeLillo's Underworld in the scope of Packer's vision and his deft eye for language and detail.' Sunday Business Post

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
8
4 stars
8
3 stars
4
2 stars
0
1 star
0

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ehines - LibraryThing

An interesting idea. Rather than pontificate and moralize on the "inner history of the new America," Packer tries to tell that story through a number of capsule bios of folks who exemplify, in one way ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - streamsong - LibraryThing

"As Van Sickler drove back to the office to write up his story, he thought about the way Bender had looked at him. The contempt. Just like the comments that came in after one of his stories went up on ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (2013)

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, was named one of the ten best books of 2005 by the New York Times and won the Helen Bernstein Book Award and an Overseas Press Club's book award. He is also the author of two novels, and two works of non-fiction, The Village of Waiting and Blood of the Liberals.