|Born||August 13, 1960|
Santa Clara, California, U.S.
|Alma mater||Yale College (1982)|
|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)
George Packer (born August 13, 1960) is a US journalist, novelist, and playwright. He is best known for his writings for The New Yorker and The Atlantic about U.S. foreign policy and for his book The Assassins' Gate: America in Iraq. Packer also wrote The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America, covering the history of the US from 1978 to 2012. In November 2013, The Unwinding received the National Book Award for Nonfiction. His award winning biography, Our Man: Richard Holbrooke and the End of the American Century, was released in May 2019. His latest book, Last Best Hope: America in Crisis and Renewal was released in June 2021.
Packer was born in Santa Clara, California. His parents taught at Stanford University: his mother, Nancy Packer (née Huddleston), was a Wallace Stegner Fellow in the Creative Writing Program and later professor of English, and his father, Herbert L. Packer, was a distinguished professor of law, and the author of numerous books and articles. Packer's maternal grandfather, George Huddleston, Sr., had served eleven successive terms (1915–1937) representing Alabama's 9th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives. His uncle, George Huddleston, Jr., succeeded to his father's seat in the House of Representatives from 1954 to 1964. Packer's sister, Ann Packer, also is a writer. Their father's background was Jewish and their mother's Christian. Packer is married to writer and editor Laura Secor and was married to Michele Millon.
Packer graduated from Yale College in 1982, where he resided at Calhoun College (now called Grace Hopper College). He served in the Peace Corps in Togo.
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 was a staff writer for The New Yorker from 2003 to 2018. He now writes for The Atlantic.
Packer was a Holtzbrinck Fellow Class of Fall 2009 at the American Academy in Berlin.
His 2005 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.
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.
In 2019, Packer released a 600-page book titled Our Man: Richard Holbrooke and the End of the American Century. It's a full-scale scholarly biography of Richard Holbrooke, one of the most influential U.S. diplomats of the late 20th Century.
Packer is a member of the international board of directors of the Institute for War and Peace Reporting.
Main article: George Packer bibliography