George Packer at the 2013 Texas Book Festival
August 13, 1960 |
Santa Clara, California
|Occupation||Journalist, novelist, and playwright|
|Alma mater||Yale College|
|Notable work(s)||The Assassins' Gate: America in Iraq|
|Notable award(s)||National Book Award for Nonfiction in November 2013 for The Unwinding|
|Spouse(s)||Michele Millon (?-?)
Laura Secor (present)
|Relative(s)||Nancy (née Huddleston) and Herbert Packer (parents)|
George Packer (born August 13, 1960) is an American journalist, novelist, and playwright. He is best known for his writings for The New Yorker about U.S. foreign policy and for his book The Assassins' Gate: America in Iraq. More recently, he wrote The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America, covering the history of America from 1978 to 2012. That book won the National Book Award for Nonfiction in November 2013.
Early life and education
Packer was born in Santa Clara, California. Packer's parents, Nancy (née Huddleston) and Herbert Packer, were both academics at Stanford University; his maternal grandfather was George Huddleston, Sr., a congressman from Alabama. His uncle, George Huddleston, Jr., was also a congressman from Alabama in the mid-20th century. His sister, Ann Packer, is also a writer. His father was Jewish and his mother was from a Christian background. He is married to Laura Secor and was previously married to Michele Millon.
His essays and articles have appeared in Boston Review, The Nation, World Affairs, Harper's, The New York Times, and The New Yorker, among other publications. Packer was a columnist for Mother Jones and has been a staff writer for The New Yorker since May 2003.
Packer was a Holtzbrinck Fellow Class of Fall 2009 at the American Academy in Berlin.
His book The Assassins' Gate: America in Iraq analyzes the events that led to the 2003 invasion of Iraq and reports on subsequent developments in that country, largely based on interviews with ordinary Iraqis. He was a supporter of the Iraq war. He was a finalist for the 2004 Michael Kelly Award.
A more recent book, The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America, focuses on the ways that America changed in the years between 1978 and 2012. The book achieves this mainly by tracing the lives of various individuals from different backgrounds through the years. Interspersed are capsule biographies of influential figures of the time such as Colin Powell, Elizabeth Warren, Jay-Z, and Raymond Carver.
Awards and honors
- 2013 National Book Award for Nonfiction, The Unwinding
- 2013 National Book Critics Circle Award (Nonfiction) shortlist for The Unwinding
- The Village of Waiting (1988). New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (1st Farrar edition, 2001). Pb. ISBN 0-374-52780-6
- The Half Man (1991). Random House ISBN 0-394-58192-X
- Central Square (1998). Graywolf Press ISBN 1-55597-277-2
- Blood of the Liberals (2000). Farrar, Straus and Giroux ISBN 0-374-25142-8
- The Fight is for Democracy: Winning the War of Ideas in America and the World (2003, as editor). Harper Perennial. Pb. ISBN 0-06-053249-1
- The Assassins' Gate: America in Iraq (2005). Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2005 ISBN 0-374-29963-3
- Betrayed: A Play (2008). Faber & Faber
- Interesting Times: Writings from a Turbulent Decade (2009). ISBN 978-0-374-17572-6
- The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America (2013). ISBN 978-0-374-10241-8
- David Glenn, "Unfinished Wars", Columbia Journalism Review, September 2005, http://www.cjr.org/issues/2005/5/glenn.asp.
- 1982 Yale Banner p. 377.
- "Finalist: George Packer (Biography)". The Michael Kelly Award.
- Clare Swanson (November 20, 2013). "2013 National Book Awards Go to McBride, Packer, Szybist, Kadohata". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved December 3, 2013.
- "James McBride, George Packer win National Book Awards". The Washington Post. November 21, 2013. Retrieved November 22, 2013.
- Kirsten Reach (January 14, 2014). "NBCC finalists announced". Melville House Publishing. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
- Admin (January 14, 2014). "Announcing the National Book Critics Awards Finalists for Publishing Year 2013". National Book Critics Circle. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
- George Packer articles at The New Yorker
- George Packer articles at Foreign Affairs
- George Packer articles at The New York Times