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The Unwinding An Inner History of the New America

ISBN: 9780374102418 | 0374102414
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Pub. Date: 5/21/2013

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American democracy in our time is beset by a sense of crisis. Seismic shifts during a single generation have created a country of winners and losers, leaving the social contract in pieces, and setting its 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 moves back and forth through the lives of six characters as they approach the present, including Dean Price, 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 trying to survive the collapse of her city; Jeff Connaughton, a career Washington insider who oscillates between idealism and organized money; and Peter Thiel, a Silicon Valley billionaire with a radical vision of the future.The narrative juxtaposes these intimate stories with biographical sketches of the era's leading public figures, and with collages of headlines, slogans, songs, ideals, follies, and frauds, capturing the year-by-year 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, and ordinary people struggling to improvise their own schemes for success and salvation.

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