Monday, July 30, 2007

What is George Packer reading?

The current featured contributor to Writers Read: George Packer, a staff writer for The New Yorker and the author of five books: two novels, The Half Man and Central Square, and three books of non-fiction, The Village of Waiting, Blood of the Liberals, and The Assassins' Gate: America in Iraq. He is also the editor of The Fight Is for Democracy: Winning the War of Ideas in America and the World.

About The Assassins' Gate: America in Iraq, from the publisher:
The Assassins' Gate: America in Iraq recounts how the United States set about changing the history of the Middle East and became ensnared in a guerilla war in Iraq. It brings to life the people and ideas that created the Bush administration’s war policy and led America to the Assassins’ Gate — the main point of entry into the American zone in Baghdad. The consequences of that policy are shown in the author’s brilliant reporting on the ground in Iraq, where he made four tours on assignment for The New Yorker. We see up close the struggles of American soldiers and civilians and Iraqis from all backgrounds, thrown together by a war that followed none of the preconceived scripts.

The Assassins' Gate also describes the place of the war in American life: the ideological battles in Washington that led to chaos in Iraq, the ordeal of a fallen soldier’s family, and the political culture of a country too bitterly polarized to realize such a vast and morally complex undertaking. George Packer’s first-person narrative combines the scope of an epic history with the depth and intimacy of a novel, creating a masterful account of America’s most controversial foreign venture since Vietnam.
Read an excerpt from The Assassins' Gate.

Packer writes about foreign affairs, politics, and books for The New Yorker's Interesting Times blog.

See what Packer has been reading at Writers Read: George Packer.

--Marshal Zeringue