The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America Hardcover – 13 Jun 2013
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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 2013-06-15)
The historic scope of Packer's book - from the late-Seventies economic downturn right up to the recent Occupy Wall Street protests - is as impressive as its immense ambition and its cumulative narrative power ... A Great American Novel in the guise of a Great Nonfiction Epic, The Unwinding asks us .... that daunting, unsettling question: do we truly like the world we have made for ourselves? (The Times)
Epic, sad and unsettling history of the last four decades in the US ... It is a testament to Packer's talents that The Unwinding is powerful, rather than off-puttingly earnest or just depressing, and that it lingers so long after reading. The sense of loneliness - of isolated souls, failed by their institutions, pummelled by the forces of big money - seems to seep under your skin, and to stay there. (Oliver Burkeman Guardian)
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 2013-06-16)
The Unwinding by George Packer is a remarkable, moving book on the USA in crisis, by the country's finest political writer.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
But like all idealism, it often gets dislocated from reality. Patriotic fervour blinds us to the margins and the dispossessed. Which is why New Yorker staff-writer George Packer's new book is so extraordinary. The Unwinding: An Inner history of the New America is nothing short of a masterpiece. The prose is superlative: understated, humane, at times even lyrical. The subject-matter is dealt with great sensitivity and non-partisanship. There are no political sideswipes here. He is merely trying to hold up a mirror. This is more a careful diagnosis of a country that is greatly loved but for which is there is great (and justifiable) concern. For what is happening to the great American idea when such contrasting bandwagons as Occupy and the Tea Party have gained such traction? How did the Credit Crunch and the sub-prime mortgage scandal come about; what has happened to the much touted American sense of optimism? Why do the big institutions like the federal government, banks, media and the legal system all seem to be failing those who need them most?
Packer artfully manages to take the nation's temperature by means of a handful of individuals, whose stories from the last 30 years he tells through the book.Read more ›
Written through the eyes of half a dozen characters the 'Unwinding' really does get to the heart of the decline of a once great nation - lessons for us in the UK as well.
I anticipate this is is going to be one of the most talked about books in the years ahead ... and if not, it should be.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The best book I have read about society and the communities behind an economic system, and about the effect of the economic system on this world. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Rosa
The other reviews have it right. This is a very upsetting book. It's well written and tries to avoid drawing conclusions. But the events it records are really sad. Read morePublished 6 months ago by AReader
Packer tells multiple stories with some overlap during, what he calls, the decline of America from it's peak in the early seventies. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Saz Dosanjh
Full of detailed human observations, compassionate, hard-hitting and non-compromising: a must read to understand modern America.Published 17 months ago by Miguel Gonzalez
I never finished it. I had hoped it would be an insightful look at recent American history but it was just negative. Read morePublished 18 months ago by summershoe
As many others have commented whilst this book claims to be a journey describing the "unwinding" of the American dream in socio and economic terms it is very disjointed and... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Mr Q
Given a strong recommendation, I was a little disappointed that the author just presents his series of personal stories, strangely interspersed with brief biogs of famous... Read morePublished 20 months ago by phil SW11
This is one of the best books that I have read in any genre over the past few years. It's strength is its sheer simplicity. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Belgo
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