Award-winning journalist, author to give talk in State College

With so much debate recently about the United States’ foreign policy, it’s the perfect time to hear from an award-winning journalist who has written extensively about America and some of the country’s recent involvement overseas.

George Packer, a staff writer for The Atlantic and winner of the National Book Award for Nonfiction for his book, “The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America,” wraps up Schlow Centre Region Library’s 2019 Author Spotlight series with a visit Monday at the Days Inn in State College. The free event begins at 7 p.m. A book signing and sales, courtesy of Webster’s Bookstore Cafe, will follow his talk.

Packer’s latest book, “Our Man: Richard Holbrooke and the End of the American Century,” is a detailed biography of the man behind the Dayton Accords that ended the war in Bosnia. Holbrooke served as assistant secretary of state under President Jimmy Carter and President Bill Clinton.

“The Unwinding,” published in 2013, used biographies to discuss some of the major moments in America between 1978 and 2012. The judges for the National Book Award wrote, “Combining novelistic storytelling and rigorous reporting, George Packer exposes tattering seams in the national tapestry. In an account of economic decline that traverses large cities and small towns, he casts a discerning eye on banks and Wall Street while tracing the painful dissolution of much of our economic infrastructure.”

His 2005 book, “The Assassins’ Gate: America in Iraq,” analyzed the events that to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Packer, who wrote about U.S. foreign policy for The New Yorker, gained attention more recently for his essay “When the Culture War Comes to the Kids,” which appeared in The Atlantic in October. He wrote about his family’s experiences on having his kids attend public or private school in New York City and how he didn’t like the political indoctrination that was happening in the public schools.

“George Packer is a journalist who writes about current events and foreign affairs with keen insight and heart,” Schlow director Cathi Alloway said. “Whether he is writing about war, or his children’s schooling in New York City, his eye for detail and clarifying analysis brings new perspectives to our reading of politics and history.”

For more information about Author Spotlight and to reserve a seat, visit schlowlibrary.org.

David Pencek is the communications manager at Schlow Centre Region Library.