Industrial-Sized Deals Shop all Back to School Shop Men's Hightops Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Fidlar $5 Off Fire TV Stick Labor Day Sale in Wine Shop Popular Services hog hog hog  Amazon Echo Starting at $99 Kindle Voyage Nintendo Digital Games Shop Back to School with Amazon Back to School with Amazon Outdoor Recreation Deal of the Day
Interesting Times: Writings from a Turbulent Decade and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $28.00
  • Save: $9.74 (35%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 4 left in stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Interesting Times: Writin... has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Eligible for FREE Super Saving Shipping! Fast Amazon shipping plus a hassle free return policy mean your satisfaction is guaranteed! Tracking number provided with every order. Slight wear on edges and covers; otherwise item is in very good condition.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Interesting Times: Writings from a Turbulent Decade Hardcover – November 10, 2009

5 customer reviews

See all 5 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$18.26
$3.48 $0.01

Best Books of the Year So Far
Best Books of the Year So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2015's Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
$18.26 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 4 left in stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Packer (The Assassins' Gate), staff writer for the New Yorker, creates an illuminating time capsule for a decade book-ended by the September 11 attacks and Barack Obama's rise to the presidency. Comprising previously published pieces, the book spotlights the biggest news—and blunders—in recent history as well as Packer's ability to ferret out important stories, perspectives and subjects elsewhere (e.g., a Sudanese intellectual and mystic hanged for sedition and apostasy who could have provided a nonviolent way forward for political Islam). Closer to home, a piece on stylistic differences between Obama and Hillary Clinton during the 2008 Democratic primaries is impressively timeless and could conceivably be consulted by historians in the next century. Packer's vivid scene setting and rich language are punctuated with flashes of mischief and humor, as when he ascribes Americans' political complacency to their seduction by iced latte, mutual fund, and The Sopranos. Despite the breadth of his topics, each essay is distinguished by its telling details and the depth of its insight. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

George Packer is a modern-day George Orwell. Like the author of Homage to Catalonia, the places he writes about are never stages for personal or ideological heroism. They are always real and full of frustrating facts that expose both liberal and conservative absolutism as reckless attempts to deny reality. Interesting Times should be read not just as an antidote to contemporary media poison, but as a testament to the values of moral seriousness in a troubled age. (Jed Lipinski The Village Voice)

This volume coheres better than most in the genre. That's because Packer has a far more coherent worldview than most reporters . . . Interesting Times seems an inapt title, ironic and detached in ways that Packer is simply not. But his is the good kind of attachment, self-aware and self-reflective. He writes, 'One can only be honest about having a point of view while remaining open to aspects of reality--the human faces and voices--that might demolish it.' In his best work, reality is haunting, indeed. (Franklin Foer The New York Times Book Review)

In reading [Packer] we see the staggering gap between abstract ideas and concrete reality. (Fareed Zakaria on THE ASSASSINS' GATE The New York Times Book Review)

Masterful . . . Packer's sketch of the prewar debates is subtle, sharp and poignant . . . His reporting from Iraq was always good, but the book is even better, putting the reader at the side of Walter Benjamin's angel of history, watching helplessly as the wreckage unfolds at his feet. (Gideon Rose on THE ASSASSINS' GATE The Washington Post Book World)

The most complete, sweeping, and powerful account of the Iraq War . . . [Packer] has depicted in stark colors the disillusionment of an entire nation. (Keith Gessen on THE ASSASSINS' GATE New York)

A deftly constructed and eloquently told account of the war's origins and aftermath . . . Packer makes it deeply human and maddeningly vivid. (Daniel Kurtz-Phelan on THE ASSASSINS' GATE Los Angeles Times Book Review)

Authoritative and tough-minded. (Michiko Kakutani on THE ASSASSINS' GATE The New York Times)

A book that is not only relevant but discerning and provocative . . . [Packer] offers the vivid detail and balanced analysis that have made him one of the leading chroniclers of the Iraq war. (Yonatan Lupu on THE ASSASSINS' GATE San Francisco Chronicle)

See all Editorial Reviews
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 409 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; First Edition edition (November 10, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374175721
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374175726
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,756,599 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

5 star
60%
4 star
0%
3 star
0%
2 star
40%
1 star
0%
See all 5 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Paul A. Craft on May 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Packer is an excellent writer that places current events in a deeper intellectual context than most of his peers. He doesn't just seek to report - he seeks to understand. In doing so, he produces a series of nonfiction pieces that hit at the heart of America's last decade.

There is a tragic coherence to Packer's worldview. He wants to see the world in clear moral terms like justice and democracy and equality; as a journalist, however, he encounters a complicated and unjust world. (In this regard - liberalism tempered by reality -- Packer is a bit like his literary hero, Orwell.) "Interesting Times" examines the friction between good intentions (the liberation of Iraq, philanthropy in Africa, Iraqis bravely helping Americans) and messy realities (American failures in Iraq, the limitations of philanthropic projects on African lives, Iraqi translators abandoned by the Western media despite their courageous work).

The writing is beautiful. The concepts are refreshing. A great read.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Zzzzzzzz. A rehash of the decade after 9/11 and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, it covers ground that has been so over-covered that I used it as a sleep-aide on nights I couldn't fall asleep. His newest book is much more vital and vibrant.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By LaurentE on March 19, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
In retrospect, Packer appears very claivoyant about Iraq, although somewhat optimistic about Obama. IA good reason to keep reading his current pieces in The New Yorker.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By OT on February 17, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'll keep it brief:

Great collection of articles that span a number of subjects. I found it to be informative and in many places very well written.

In some ways it is provides these cross sections of some of our culture in that time period.

It was one of these books I couldn't put down until I was finished.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
10 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Loyd E. Eskildson HALL OF FAME on February 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Packer's book, "Interesting Times," is an anthology of his prior essays, most previously published in "The New Yorker," that cover the seven years spanning 9/11 and the election of Barack Obama. The most compelling article, "Betrayed," describes the plight of Iraqis that helped us by serving as translators etc., only to be left to their own devices once the U.S. no longer had use for them. (Similar to what also happened to many of our trained scout and bomb-sniffing dogs.) However, too much of the book deals with Iraq - a war and its progenitor that have long since been replaced by Afghanistan and the new President Obama in the public eye.

Packer also is embarrassingly unprescient with his laborious centerpiece "The Fall of Conservatism" essay. Phrases such as "both (candidates McCain and Obama) embody a post-polarized . . . style of politics," "the fact that the least conservative, least divisive Republican is the last one standing . . . shows how little life is left in the movement Nixon began . . ." clearly don't fit with the Republicans' dramatic resuscitation in 2009 and early 2010 via non-stop rancor directed at the new president and his associates. The Democrats' mid-2000s resurgence, despite widespread belief Republicans would dominate the nation for decades, should have taught everyone the dangers of prematurely burying either party.

Finally, Packer's "Interesting Times" misses the biggest event during the years covered in "Interesting Times" - the obvious weakening of America's economy. Not surprisingly, Packer also misses its three major underlying causes: 1)The off-shoring of millions of jobs to China, India and other Asian nations. 2)Continued corporate delayering, automation, and computerization. 3)Ballooning trade, state and federal deficits and unfunded liabilities. 4)Washington's inability to reason and govern objectively.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Interesting Times: Writings from a Turbulent Decade
This item: Interesting Times: Writings from a Turbulent Decade
Price: $18.26
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?