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George Packer

George Packer
File:George packer 2013.jpg
George Packer at the 2013 Texas Book Festival
Born (1960-08-13) August 13, 1960 (age 55)
Santa Clara, California
Occupation Journalist, novelist, and playwright
Nationality American
Alma mater Yale College
Notable works The Assassins' Gate: America in Iraq
Notable awards National Book Award for Nonfiction in November 2013 for The Unwinding
Spouse Michele Millon (?-?)
Laura Secor (present)
Relatives 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.[1] 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-twentieth century.[2] His sister, Ann Packer, also is a writer. His father was Jewish and his mother was from a Christian background.[3] He is married to Laura Secor and previously was married to Michele Millon.

Graduated from Yale College in 1982, Packer resided at Calhoun College.[4] He served in the Peace Corps in Togo.[2]


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.[5]

Packer was a Holtzbrinck Fellow Class of Fall 2009 at the American Academy in Berlin.

His book entitled, 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.

In July 2013 The New Yorker Festival released a video entitled, Geoffrey Canada on Giving Voice to the Have-nots, of a panel that was moderated by George Packer. Along with Canada, the panelists included Abhijit Banerjee, Katherine Boo, and Jose Antonio Vargas.[6]

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, Newt Gingrich, Elizabeth Warren, Jay-Z, and Raymond Carver.

Awards and honors



  1. ^
  2. ^ a b David Glenn, "Unfinished Wars", Columbia Journalism Review, September 2005,
  3. ^ The New York Times  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ 1982 Yale Banner p. 377.
  5. ^ "Finalist: George Packer (Biography)". The Michael Kelly Award. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ Clare Swanson (November 20, 2013). "2013 National Book Awards Go to McBride, Packer, Szybist, Kadohata". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved December 3, 2013. 
  8. ^ "James McBride, George Packer win National Book Awards". The Washington Post. November 21, 2013. Retrieved November 22, 2013. [dead link]
  9. ^ Kirsten Reach (January 14, 2014). "NBCC finalists announced". Melville House Publishing. Retrieved January 14, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Announcing the National Book Critics Awards Finalists for Publishing Year 2013". National Book Critics Circle. January 14, 2014. Retrieved January 14, 2014. 

External links

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