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The Unwinding An Inner History of the New America
The 2013 National Book Award Winner
A New York Times Bestseller
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 tells the
story of the past three decades by journeying through the lives of several Americans, including a son of tobacco farmers
who becomes an evangelist for a new economy in the rural South, a factory worker in the Rust Belt trying to survive the
collapse of her city, a Washington insider oscillating between political idealism and the lure of organized money, and a
Silicon Valley billionaire who arrives at a radical vision of the future. Packer interweaves these stories with sketches
of public figures, from Newt Gingrich to Jay-Z, and collages made from newspaper headlines, advertising slogans, and
song lyrics. Packer's novelistic and kaleidoscopic history of the new America is his most ambitious work to date.