In this collection of essays from the past extraordinary decade, from September 11 to the rise of Barack Obama, journalist Packer brings insight and passion to his accounts of the war on terror, Iraq, troubled societies, political writers, and the 2008 election.
Throughout his career“ ”as a journalist, George Packer
has always been attuned to the voices and stories of individuals caught up in the big ideas and events of contemporary history. “Interesting Times ”unites brilliant investigative pieces such as “Betrayed,” about Iraqi interpreters, with personal essays and detailed narratives of travels through war zones and failed states. Spanning a decade that includes the September 11 attacks and the election of Barack Obama, Packer brings insight and passion to his accounts of the war on terror, Iraq, political writers, and the 2008 election. Across these varied subjects a few keythemes recur: the temptations and dangers of idealism; the moral complexities of war and politics; the American capacity for self-blinding and self-renewal.
Whether exploring American policies in the wake of September 11, tracking a used T-shirt from New York to Uganda, or describing the ambivalent response in Appalachia to Obama, these essays hold a mirror up to our own troubled times and showcase Packer’s unmistakable perspective, which is at once both wide-angled and humane.
's journalism and essays have appeared in “Harper's”; “The New York Times”; the 1997 Pushcart Prize anthology, “The Art of the Essay”; and elsewhere. His latest book is “Blood of the Liberals,” He lives in Brooklyn, New York.