We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
 >   > 
The Unwinding Audiobook

The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America

Regular Price:$34.01
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

National Book Award, Nonfiction, 2013

A riveting examination of a nation in crisis, from one of the finest political journalists of our generation. American democracy is beset by a sense of crisis. Seismic shifts during a single generation have created a country of winners and losers, allowing unprecedented freedom while rending the social contract, driving the political system to the verge of breakdown, and setting citizens adrift to find new paths forward. In The Unwinding, George Packer, author of The Assassins’ Gate: America in Iraq, tells the story of the United States over the past three decades in an utterly original way, with his characteristically sharp eye for detail and gift for weaving together complex narratives.

The Unwinding journeys through the lives of several Americans, including Dean Price, the son of tobacco farmers, who becomes an evangelist for a new economy in the rural South; Tammy Thomas, a factory worker in the Rust Belt trying to survive the collapse of her city; Jeff Connaughton, a Washington insider oscillating between political idealism and the lure of organized money; and Peter Thiel, a Silicon Valley billionaire who questions the Internet’s significance and arrives at a radical vision of the future.

Packer interweaves these intimate stories with biographical sketches of the era’s leading public figures, from Newt Gingrich to Jay-Z, and collages made from newspaper headlines, advertising slogans, and song lyrics that capture the flow of events and their undercurrents. The Unwinding portrays a superpower in danger of coming apart at the seams, its elites no longer elite, its institutions no longer working, its ordinary people left to improvise their own schemes for success and salvation. Packer’s novelistic and kaleidoscopic history of the new America is his most ambitious work to date. Includes bonus content read by the author.

©2013 George Packer (P)2013 Macmillan Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (529 )
5 star
 (245)
4 star
 (159)
3 star
 (80)
2 star
 (25)
1 star
 (20)
Overall
4.1 (458 )
5 star
 (205)
4 star
 (139)
3 star
 (70)
2 star
 (28)
1 star
 (16)
Story
4.3 (450 )
5 star
 (222)
4 star
 (154)
3 star
 (51)
2 star
 (15)
1 star
 (8)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Chad Oskaloosa, IA, United States 07-15-13
    Chad Oskaloosa, IA, United States 07-15-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Thought Provoking"
    Any additional comments?

    The story of how America has become unwound since 1960 was one that helped to open my eyes and focus my thoughts about how our country has changed in my lifetime.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    judy 01-15-17
    judy 01-15-17 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Don't waste your time"

    This book represents many hours that I'll never get back. The individual stories that make up this book are well written but the premise of the book, the unwinding of America, is never proven. The author tries to take the individual stories of a dozen or so people and make the case that America is declining. There are few facts and no conclusions offered. The book is subjective and fails to take into account the positive things that have occurred in America in the last 15 years. I kept waiting for some objective take-away to appear but it never came. I'm sorry I wasted my time with it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dave Tau 11-19-16
    Dave Tau 11-19-16 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Eye opening"

    Immediately listened to The Unwinding after hearing George Packer on NPR, amazing journalist and an excellent read, highly recommend for anyone interested in Learning more about why so many Americans have lost trust in government.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Randall S. Witt Westlake Village, CA USA 10-23-16
    Randall S. Witt Westlake Village, CA USA 10-23-16 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "somewhat disjointed and never pulled together"

    as noted in the title, this book is somewhat disjointed. 1 struggles to find the actual meaning behind the authors ramblings story or should I say stories. The highlight of this book is the performance. if I had to read it on a paper page or Kindle, it would have been a struggle to get through.

    I would recommend other books on a similar topic well before this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    EH Fayetteville, AR, United States 09-27-15
    EH Fayetteville, AR, United States 09-27-15 Member Since 2011

    Jeff

    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    28
    25
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent"
    What made the experience of listening to The Unwinding the most enjoyable?

    This was not the type of book I thought I was buying and it took me a while to get used to it. It was worth that though. Excellently written. A terrific and objective perspective of how the decline of America and the crumbling of the American system is affecting average Americans.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Blue Tooth 01-03-15
    Blue Tooth 01-03-15 Member Since 2011

    technogeek

    HELPFUL VOTES
    66
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    87
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonder how it's going to end."

    As a collection of stories about the lives of ordinary people, it paints a pretty vivid picture of how we have arrived at this point in time. One wonders how we can undo the grim momentum of greed and ignorance. Maybe books like this can help more Americans understand our current predicament.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Benoibe New Orleans, LA, United States 09-21-13
    Benoibe New Orleans, LA, United States 09-21-13 Member Since 2010

    audio addict! Mostly interested in history and some historical fiction. Will Durant is my all time favorite. Loving the Great Courses too.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1913
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    526
    221
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    791
    57
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very well written and even a little scary."

    Great presentation of the last few decades and the politics and economic issues Americans face.
    America is on the decline, thus the unwinding. It's systematic and not caused by one party or person. But it is happening. I was very impressed with the many and diverse people the author uses to make his point. Every class and race is represented. We are all affected.

    I didn't feel that it was biased, which I appreciate. Very impressive style of writing!

    An author to watch!

    6 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    EE Davis 12-03-13
    EE Davis 12-03-13

    EE

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Compelling and enlightening"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would enthusiastically recommend this book to friends (and enemies, too). Although I lived through all the decades described in the book, I only experienced my little corner of history. This book opened my eyes to the big picture. Not only that, in doing so, it helped me understand on a much more organic basis the connections between historical events and their effects on people outside (and inside) my community. In short, it educated me, in a most engrossing way, about how to think critically and the absolute importance of integrity in our social and political dealings. Unfortunately, that integrity is sorely lacking in contemporary life.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    The structure. The book embodies the concept of unwinding threads from a tapestry.


    Which character – as performed by Robert Fass – was your favorite?

    I wouldn't think of the people described in the book as "characters" as they actually live/lived. They all are fascinating. However, because of similarities in background, temperament, and geography, I was drawn most strongly to Dean Price.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The book has a cumulative effect. As it unwinds its stories, you are drawn in every more deeply. By the end of the book, that effect packs a wallop.


    Any additional comments?

    One of the best books I have ever read.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angel D. 08-02-13
    Angel D. 08-02-13

    ABookAngel

    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    47
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good but..."

    There were parts of this book I really liked, but it did get slow in some areas. There is also this wierd thing done between chapters where headlines are used. This make look interesting in print form, but for me it did not transfer to this format well.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Petry Santa Barbara, CA USA 09-29-13
    David Petry Santa Barbara, CA USA 09-29-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    28
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Unexpectedly Good"

    This book unfolds the last four decades in the United States using stories of people who lived it. They include the rich, the poor, the obscure, the famous, and the stories weave through the America experience in a way that explains where we've been and what has happened. Well-read.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.