George Packer

Bestselling Author of The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America

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George Packer | Bestselling Author of The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America
Lavin Exclusive Speaker

In the wake of the election, The New York Times chose George Packer’s The Unwinding as a key book “To Help You Understand Trump’s Win.” In his articles, Packer explores the notion of ‘unwinding’—the rise of populism, institutional collapse, and the unraveling of the American Dream. He is a must-see speaker for anyone seeking to comprehend the political and cultural forces making the country what it is today.

George Packer is the author of The New York Times bestseller and National Book Award winner The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America. The New York Times called the book “Steinbeckian in the best sense of that term … [Packer has] written something close to a nonfiction masterpiece.”

 

“[The Unwinding] is an epic—wondrous, bracing, and true—that will stand as the defining book of our time.”

— Dexter Filkins, author of The Forever War

Packer is a staff writer for The New Yorker, for which his articles have won three Overseas Press Club awards. He has published four other works of non-fiction: The Assassins’ Gate: America in Iraq; Interesting Times: Writings from a Turbulent Decade; Blood of the Liberals; and The Village of Waiting. He is also the author of two novels, The Half Man and Central Square, and a play, Betrayed. He is the editor of The Fight Is for Democracy: Winning the War of Ideas in America and the World, and of a two-volume edition of George Orwell’s essays. He has been a Guggenheim Fellow and a Holtzbrinck Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin.   

Testimonials

“Our event last night was an over-the-top success. George drew an impressively large crowd; his talk was outstanding; my computer this morning was jammed with congratulatory e-mails. Last night ranks as one of our best events ever.”

University of Missouri

Speech Topics

U.S. Economy
America Today A Collapsing, Changing Nation
Why is America in danger of coming apart at the seams? Why are elites no longer elite, institutions no longer functioning, and ordinary people left to improvise their own schemes for success? George Packer, author of New York Times bestseller and National Book Award finalist The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America, creates an intimate, documentary-style portrait of America today. He maintains that there’s been an undoing of the deal that used to exist between Americans: if you work hard and do your part, there will be a place for you and your children in the nation. In the last generation, this has begun to come apart. More and more people now feel they have to go their own way: for some people this has been a good thing, for others it’s been destabilizing and even devastating.

Drawing from extensive research and first-hand “method” investigation, Packer weaves together stories from America’s centers of power and its forgotten places. He takes audiences on a journey 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; and Jeff Connaughton, a Washington insider oscillating between political idealism and the lure of organized money. And, he warns audiences that we are getting closer to the America of The Great Gatsby—of life lived through the people at the top, through celebrities and their stories. What is the future of our fractured, collapsing nation? What can we learn from this generation’s successes and failures? Packer presents a profoundly moving and utterly original perspective on what it feels like to be alive and in America at this moment.