Writing Toward a Sustainable Community

The Power of Words and the New America:

George Packer on The Unwinding

George Packer

On Saturday, March 22, 2014, the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference and Stanford Continuing Education co-presented a colloquium at Napa Valley College featuring George Packer, winner of the 2013 National Book Award for his best selling book, The Unwinding: an Inner History of the New America.

The Unwinding documents how seismic shifts have created a nation of winners and losers, allowing unprecedented freedom while rending the social contract, driving the political system to the verge of breakdown, and setting citizens adrift to find new paths forward. The New York Times hailed The Unwinding as “Steinbeckian in the best sense of that term … Packer has written something close to a nonfiction masterpiece.”

The morning of dialogue and discovery in the Performing Arts Center at Napa Valley College began with coffee and pastries from local purveyors. Following a presentation by Packer, the discussion opened to include the audience and a panel of community leaders who are addressing the challenges outlined in The Unwinding.

Lunch featuring locally-sourced products was served in the Center’s soaring atrium, affording further opportunity for interaction. Copies of The Unwinding were available for purchase and signing.

View profiles of our featured speakers | View the day’s schedule


Writing Toward a Sustainable Community was presented by The Napa Valley Writers’ Conference, a program of Napa Valley College, in cooperation with Stanford Continuing Studies and with support from Do Napa (the Napa Tourism Improvement District).


Napa Valley College logo

Stanford Continuing Studies logo
Do Napa logo