George Packer is a staff writer for the Atlantic and a former staff writer for the New Yorker. He is the author of The Unwinding- Thirty Years of American Decline, which was a New York Times bestseller and won a National Book Award. His other nonfiction books include The Assassins' Gate- America in Iraq, Blood of the Liberals, which won the 2001 Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, and Our Man- Richard Holbrooke and the End of the American Century, which won the Los Angeles Times Biography Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Awards. He has also written two novels, The Half Man and Central Square. His writing has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Mother Jones, Harper's, and other publications. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
In the great tradition of Richard Hofstadter, but with a reporter's eye, George Packer has given us a thoughtful and ultimately hopeful book about crisis and opportunity. -- Jon Meacham, author of His Truth Is Marching On and The Soul of America George Packer has written a small but big book. The end of the pandemic should be pure joy, but the fact that a public health crisis deepened our divisions has weighed down our hearts. Is there anything that could glue us together as one people? Packer answers yes. And the case he makes in doing so provides the vaccine I have most wanted - hope. -- Atul Gawande, surgeon and author of Being Mortal and The Checklist Manifesto In Last Best Hope, George Packer retells the story of 2020, offering an original account of the fracturing of [America's] mind and suggesting how we might restore unity. Ranging from Tocqueville to Trump, this extended essay will provoke you to think harder about America's past as well as America's future. -- Anne Applebaum, author of Twilight of Democracy and Gulag In the summer of 2020, America seemed to divide into two different nations. Anyone who observed the crack-up will cherish this flinty analysis, which offers new insights into how Americans from Frances Perkins to Bayard Rustin to those who stormed the U.S. Capitol have understood and defined freedom. The result is a clear-eyed explanation of how a progressive nation can be a unified one. -- John H. McWhorter, professor of linguistics at Columbia University, contributing editor at The Atlantic, and host of Slate's Lexicon Valley