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FROM THIS EPISODE

There are few things as interesting as a great reporter with a great story. And George Packer of the New Yorker is one of this generation’s greatest reporters with an important story to tell.

In his new book, “The Unwinding,” Packer offers a penetrating series of portraits of an America that is losing its once-venerable institutions. It’s an America in which the middle class is increasingly left to flourish – or flounder – on its own. Packer chronicles titans in Silicon Valley and Wall Street, desperate working-class families in Ohio and Florida, and others in between to help us see our era with fresh eyes.

Packer distinguished himself overseas with the work that culminated in his award-winning 2005 book, “The Assassin’s Gates: America In Iraq.” He writes the Interesting Times blog for the New Yorker and has covered national and international affairs for the magazine. He also edited a two-volume set of George Orwell’s works.

I’ve known George for about five years, and one of things I find most appealing in this talented man is his humility; he sees the license granted a reporter to move among every aspect of society as a privilege.

I hope you’ll find this conversation with George about his new book and our national challenges as compelling as I did.

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