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George Packer drives a stake into America’s heart in “The Unwinding”. American anger, fear, and frustration build in the minds of all—whether Republican, Democrat, Tea Partyer, or Libertarian.
Whether an accolade of private enterprise or government, Packer offers stories of Americans that show American’ belief makes no difference because America is no longer a land of opportunity but a land of greed; not of the free but of the shackled—a risk noted by Thomas Hobbes in the “Leviathan”. The shackles come from society’s failure to protect individuals from the tyranny of special interests. One side argues that it is because of ineffective government–the other side argues it is because of too much government.
The unwinding of the financial crises reflected in the dot-com bubble of 2000-2001 and the 2007-08 sub-prime mortgage crises unfolds in stories told by Packer in this disturbing narrative. America has become a nation of extremes with each extreme using whatever means necessary to deny success of either “tea party”, “libertarian” or “occupy wall street” followers. The consequence is a “do-nothing” congress, an ineffectual President, and a politicized Supreme Court. One is left with fear, anger, and frustration after completing Packer’s diatribe. The only consolation is in history.
America has been in crises before–in 1776, 1789, 1865, 1929, 1941, 1951, 1967-68, 2001. Americans survived before; Americans will survive again but how angry Americans are, and how frustrating it is to watch America muddle along while Congress fails to act.
13 of 14 people found this review helpful
I really like the way Packer has attempted to make his points about how America has unwound. He has chosen to pick out of number of personalities and historical figures that we know and other folks we don't and wind them around each other in a cohesive contemporary history tale.
If you like history, you will like this book. However, if you are a memoir fan you will not because he skims the surface of people and there are personalities you may not like or agree with. Also, if you are fiction reader lover an only tolerate history you should pass.
I think that Robert Fass did a nice job narrating, his voice is pleasant enough. I think this book could have benefited from editing; maybe as much as 1/3 could be lopped off. With all that said, I do recommend this book to the history buff and for both liberals and conservatives.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful