Radio Wolinsky

George Packer, “The Unwinding,” 2013

​​​​​This podcast, an interview with George Packer conducted by Richard Wolinsky in 2013, is being posted nearly six months to the day after the Trump insurrection which could have caused the overthrow of the United States democratically elected government. While that didn’t happen, the forces that brought about the capitol invasion haven’t gone away. The refusal by the Republican Party to examine those forces, and the role Donald Trump played in the coup attempt, indicates we are not out of the woods.

So how did we reach this point, putting aside Trump’ s strange cult of personality? How far back do we have to go to find the turning points in the history of America

In 2013, New Yorker staff writer George Packer’s book, “The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America,” closely examined the changes in American society and politics that led to the political turmoil of the Obama years and in a way predicted the outcomes we’ve seen since the book was published. “The Unwinding” went on to win the National Book Award for non-fiction.

This interview with George Packer was conducted in the KPFA studios on June 4, 2013 while he was on tour for his book, The Unwinding. Since that time, his biography, “Our Man: Richard Holbrooke and the end of the American Century,” was a published in 2019 and was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. His latest book, “Last Best Hope: America in Crisis and Renewal” was published in June, 2021. An article delineating highlights from that book can be found in the July/August 2021 edition of The Atlantic.