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A riveting examination of a nation in crisis from one of the finest political journalists of our generationAmerican 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 author of The Assassins' Gate America in Ira tells the story of the United States over the past three decades in an utterly original way with his characteristically ”No one can say when the unwinding began – when the coil that held Americans together in its secure and sometimes stifling grip first gave way Like any great change the unwinding began at countless times in countless ways – and at some moment the country always the same country crossed a line of history and became irretrievably different”The Unwinding is an interesting revealing thoughtful mosaic of America in the years 1978 – 2012 from The Last American VagabondThe graphic fits; I make no comment about the web site wwwthelastamericanvagabondcom with which I am unfamiliarGeorge Packer has structured the book as a weave of several themes which he follows as the years roll bySome of the themes are embodied in the stories of three actual Americans none of whom you’re likely to have heard of PS I believe the pictures below show Packer's characters Hard to track down especially the picture of Ms ThomasDean Price biodiesel entrepreneur from North Carolina A true believer in the American dream one who despite entrepreneurial failure over and over marches resolutely on Jeff Connaughton Washington lobbyist and Congressional staffer Long time devotee of Joe Biden from Jeff’s college days in Alabama who ultimately tires of the cynical ways of Washington Wall Street and his one time idolTammy Thomas Youngstown Ohio factory worker turned community organizer To me the most touching story a woman raised by her great grandmother first of her family to graduate high school witnesses the devastating implosion of Youngstown Sheet and Tube which precipitated all the problems of that community raised her kids into good people and eventually becomes an activistorganizer Two themes relate primarily to places but are again narrated by reference to real people as well as to aspects of the place which help tell Packer’s storyTampa This story touches several people involved in different ways in the housing boom and bustSilicon Valley Here often by writing of Peter Thiel activist venture capitalist libertarian the billionaire co founder of PayPal Packer tells the story of the1% the confident over confident? might I even say massively egotistical? Valley gurus who see 21st century salvation in their technological visions of the future unfettered by government regulation human kinds’ heroes directing us forward into whateverA final theme is personified by the famous or at least modestly famous Each character gets a single chapter mini biography an ironic? narrative of the shape of their fame and not always a final suggestion that their effect on the country was not uite what it first appeared The paradeNewt GingrichOprah WinfreyRaymond CarverSam WaltonColin PowellAlice WatersRobert RubinJay ZAndrew BreitbartElizabeth WarrenAnd interspersed into the weave are single page capsules of headline news events uotations and other flotsam for individual years 1978 ’84 ’87 ’94 ’99 ’03 ’08 ’10 ’12 An example from a year of literary import – 1984 view spoiler On January 24 Apple Computer will introduce Macintosh And you’ll see why 1984 won’t be like 1984 BANK SECURITIES UNITS MAY UNDERWRITE BONDS It’s morning again in America and under the leadership of President Reagan our country is prouder and stronger and better Why would we ever want to return to where we were less than four short years ago? I had a job I had a girl I had something going mister in this world I got laid off down at the lumberyard Our love went bad times got hard TAMPA SEES GAINS FOR ITS HARD WORK “But those kinds of things can’t do for us long term what a Super Bowl can do This is a real opportunity for us to show people what a great place this is that they can come here and not expect to be taken advantage of” MISS AMERICA IS ORDERED TO UIT FOR POSING NUDE You’re judged by performance Why drive a car that lives by a lesser code? At Bank of New England Vice President David E Hersee Jr went apartment hunting for the daughter of a California customer who was moving to Boston Of course apartment hunting is reserved for the very best clients LINDA GRAY’S SECRET LOVE Just like “Dallas” Role – She Falls for Younger Man In the four years before he took office country after country fell under the Soviet yoke Since January 20 1981 not one inch of soil has fallen to the Communists USA USA USA BEEPERS SAID TO LINK LEGIONS OF AREA’S WORKAHOLICS Devices Now Perceived As Lifelines; No Longer a High Tech Oddity The housing finance industry needs a national mortgage exchange that does for mortgages and mortgage backed securities trading “what the New York Stock Exchange does for corporate stock trading” Fannie Mae Chairman David O Maxwell told NEW US REPORT NAMES VIRUS THAT MAY CAUSE AIDS There are times in everyone’s life when something constructive is born out of adversity There are times when things seem so bad that you’ve got to grab your fate by the shoulders and shake it I’m convinced it was that morning at the warehouse that pushed me to take on the presidency of Chrysler REAGAN WINS RE ELECTION IN LANDSIDE And I feel like I’m a rider in a downbound train hide spoiler

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The Unwinding An Inner History of the New AmericaOries with biographical sketches of the era's leading public figures from Newt Gingrich to Jay Z and collages made from newspaper headlines advertising slogans and song lyrics that capture the flow of events and their undercurrents The Unwinding portrays a superpower in danger of coming apart at the seams its elites no longer elite its institutions no longer working its ordinary people left to improvise their own schemes for success and salvation Packer's novelistic and kaleidoscopic history of the new America is his most ambitious work to dateOne of the iTunes Bookstore's Ten Books You Must Read This Summ Let me tell you a story after World War II the United States having survived the world's bloodiest conflict largely unscathed began an economic Golden Age While taxes were high 91% top marginal rate in the 1950s America was thriving Our standard of living became the envy of the world Our infrastructure and education system were second to none We did Big Things and had one of if not the highest standards of living in human history While this prosperity was not as widely shared as it should have been women and minorities were largely left out and while nothing is ever perfect things in America were going along very very well We made things that the rest of the world wanted to buy We sent men to the moon dealt with the legacy of slavery and created technological inventions that were the stuff of science fiction I have often told my friend that if I were to build a time machine I would go back to 1946 then hit 're send' right around 1966 These were good times We will not see these days againGeorge Packer the author of this well written troubling and painfully truthful book takes a long and piercing look at America in our day and age At first I found the book's structure to be a bit distracting the author follows the lives of three wildly different Americans over the past decade or so while mixing in chapters on Tampa FL Silicon Valley and Wall Street as well brief biographies of prominent Americans like Oprah Colin Powell Jay Z and Raymond Carver and one page mini year in reviews that highlight song lyrics news paper headlines and uotes from politicians If it sounds busy it is but Mr Packer makes it work flawlessly in my opinionConsidering were we were as a country at the time of my birth in 1969 and comparing it to where we are today in 2013 you can't help but ask yourself how the fuck did we get here? Was it culture? Was it politics? Was it the economy? The government? Corporations? The welfare state? The rich? All of these things? None? It's difficult to name one root cause of our American decline but the author doesn't attempt to place the blame on any one thing Instead he allows the subjects a green energy pioneer in North Carolina a former factory worker in Ohio the creator of Pay Pal and an insider in the Democratic Party speak for themselves Their stories along with the stories of Newt Gingrich Elizabeth Warren and other prominent Americans lays out a narrative of decay of shrinking of fading away It was difficult to read all while being incredibly compelling When my grandfather was my age he raised a family of five on one paycheck and managed to buy as small but beloved house near the beach for all of us to enjoy Today with four college degrees between us my wife and I both work and manage to get by but it is never easy and we can't take anything for granted I can't help but wonder what sort of world my little girls will face but if anything gives me hope against the gathering gloom it is what my grandfather used to say to me when I was a boy I can't imagine the world you will one day live in he used to tell me Now I look at my own children and think the same thing With the exception of expanding rights and acceptance for gay and lesbian people I can't think of a single positive trend in America today We have at last run out of the fumes of America's Golden Age and are now facing a very bleak scary future

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kindle Ð The Unwinding An Inner History of the New America Ø ebook â [PDF] ✓ The Unwinding An Inner History of the New America By George Packer – A riveting examination of a nation in crisis from one of the finest political journalists of our generationAmerican demoSharp eye for detail and gift for weaving together complex narratives The Unwinding journeys 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; Jeff Connaughton a Washington insider oscillating between political idealism and the lure of organized money; and Peter Thiel a Silicon Valley billionaire who uestions the Internet's significance and arrives at a radical vision of the future Packer interweaves these intimate st George Packer returned from several years overseas writing about problems of the United States in the world never imagining that the United States would become his next subject But he was appalled with the condition of America when he returned and wondered what had happened to our forward momentum In reading this book you may feel the perplexity I had in the beginning for his stories are wide ranging and diverse and seem to bear no relation to one another But slowly the accretion of pages stories and facts begin to take their toll and we begin to glimpse the outlines of our recent past and possible reasons for it And something akin to a slow burning rage may take hold in your breastPacker might be flint to dry tinder—many of us know what we think might be wrong with governance banks farming energy policy education—Packer hits all the hot dry sore spots in his round the country assessment in the form of interviews He does not paint a flattering picture of anyone really which one of us is perfect? but neither is he completely negative except for the portrait of Newt Gingrich Newt looks and sounds like a megalomaniac on the level of Ron Hubbard and according to Packer may have been the beginning of Washington’s political dysfunction and discourtesy If Newt had left Washington when he was thrown out of office we may have been saved but he stayed around tinkering with political leadership using money and words But Newt is not single handedly responsible We have ourselves to thankPacker allows us to imagine our own choices had we other people’s lives He is explanatory rather than judgmental He shows us the curve of the earth and allows us to use our experience and observation to draw our own conclusions And he is radicalizing me I realize my own collection of facts tempered by my education and experience have caused within me a slow burning anger over the widening ineuality and waste of our vast resources both human and soil based I do not admire the men and women of our Congress and I do not admire the echelons of wealthy bankers and corporate executives I do not aspire to nor do I wish children to aspire to their ranks I want them to realize they are us albeit with money they frankly do not deservePacker is not prescriptive so the answers must come from within ourselves But he does point out that the 99% have already staged a mass action in Occupy Wall Street Deep feelings of injustice already roil through our cities and countryside Now is the time to learn the skills you will need should your house be lost in a tornado an earthuake a flood or a firestorm Now is the time to be the leaders you wish your Congresspeople were Now is the time to think for ourselves Think Soon it will be time to short Wall Street