Interesting Times: Writing from a Turbulent Decade by George Packer (Togo 1982–83) is published this month from Farrar Straus Giroux. It comes out on November 17, but the book is in stores now. Packer is a staff writer for The New Yorker and the author of The Assassins’ Gate: America in Iraq, which was named one of the ten best books of 2005 by The New York Times Book Review. He is the author of two novels, The Half Man and Central Square, and two works of nonfiction, The Village of Waiting, which is his Peace Corps memoir, and Blood of the Liberals, which won the 2001 Robert F. Kennedy Book Award and the 2001 Peace Corps Writers Paul Cowan Non-Fiction Award. His play Betrayed, based on a New Yorker article, won the 2008 Lucille Lortel Award for Best Off-Broadway Play. His reporting has also won four Overseas Press Club awards.
These essays of the “turbulent decade” George writes in his Introduction, are “from the morning September 11, 2001, to the night of November 4, 2008. The margins of a historical period don’t conform to the turning of a new zero: eras are defined less precisely but more truly by events, a prevailing moral atmosphere, what it felt like to live during a certain time”
All of the essays were published in slightly different form in The Boston Globe, Dissent, The Flight Is for Democracy (Harper Perennial, 2003), Mother Jones, The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, and World Affairs.