Listen free for 30 days

  • The Unwinding

  • An Inner History of the New America
  • Written by: George Packer
  • Narrated by: Robert Fass
  • Length: 18 hrs and 4 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

Pick 1 audiobook a month from our unmatched collection.
Listen all you want to thousands of included audiobooks, Originals, and podcasts.
Premium Plus auto-renews for $14.95/mo + applicable taxes after 30 days. Cancel anytime.
The Unwinding cover art

The Unwinding

Written by: George Packer
Narrated by: Robert Fass
Try for $0.00

$14.95 a month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Buy Now for $32.04

Buy Now for $32.04

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Tax where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

National Book Award, Nonfiction, 2013

A riveting examination of a nation in crisis, from one of the finest political journalists of our generation. 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, author of The Assassins’ Gate: America in Iraq, tells the story of the United States over the past three decades in an utterly original way, with his characteristically sharp 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 questions the Internet’s significance and arrives at a radical vision of the future.

Packer interweaves these intimate stories 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 date. Includes bonus content read by the author.

©2013 George Packer (P)2013 Macmillan Audio

What listeners say about The Unwinding

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    4
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    4
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Superb Social history of the USA

Very much enjoyed this superb book which consists of dozens of voices and stories from the 70s through to the post 2008 financial crisis. I found it to be compelling listening and a real meditation on the meaning of the American Dream and the shift of economic power in the USA from the industrial heartland and the South to Silicon Valley and Asia. It could easily have become turgid in the wrong hands and I read a couple of reviews suggesting packer should have weighted down his narrative with theory. I disagree strongly with that assessment - his characters and their stories carry the narrative and his over-arching themes extremely well. One last point, reading this book near the end of the Trump presidency it is extremely clear the fertile ground that brought him to power. What cries out from the voices in the book is how for many Americans progress and hope means a return to the past - an unwinding of the unwinding (globalization) - as the ranks of the middle class are thinned and wealth is incredibly and increasingly concentrated.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!