‘Last Best Hope’ Author George Packer to Speak at W&L Packer offers fresh insights into how Americans can use an underlying passion for equality to lead us toward a more unified, progressive nation.
“Today there is a new crisis in American political life, and Packer helps us see where it came from and what we need to do next.”
~ Robert Strong, William Lyne Wilson Professor in Political Economy
George Packer, staff writer for The Atlantic and author of “The Unwinding” and “Last Best Hope,” will speak at Washington and Lee University on Thursday, Feb. 3 at 5 p.m. in the University Chapel. This talk is free and open to the public*.
“Packer is a journalist and author with a wide range of interests and a sharp eye for telling details,” said Robert Strong, William Lyne Wilson Professor in Political Economy. “When Lincoln called America the world’s ‘last best hope’ for democracy, the republic was in the midst of its greatest constitutional crisis. Today there is a new crisis in American political life, and Packer helps us see where it came from and what we need to do next.”
In “Last Best Hope,” Packer delves into how Americans of all backgrounds define freedom, and how we can use the underlying passion for equality to lead us toward a more unified, progressive nation.
“Packer offers probing insights into the forces that are pulling the USA—and other nations—in radically different directions. To the extent that the crisis affecting America is affecting nations across the world, Packer’s insights offer a change for the world to learn from the USA and for Americans to gain a broader perspective about the forces that unite and divide peoples,” said Mark Rush, Director of International Education and Stanley D. and Nikki Waxberg Professor of Politics and Law.
Packer is the 2019 recipient of the Hitchens Prize, which is given in memory of the late Christopher Hitchens to a journalist or author who demonstrates a deep commitment to the pursuit of truth and free expression, without concern for professional or personal consequences. He has been a Guggenheim Fellow and a Holtzbrinck Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin.
Packer’s other works of non-fiction include “The Assassins’ Gate: America in Iraq;” “Interesting Times: Writings from a Turbulent Decade;” “Blood of the Liberals;” and “The Village of Waiting.” He is also the author of two novels, “The Half Man” and “Central Square,” and a play, “Betrayed.” Packer is the editor of “The Fight Is for Democracy: Winning the War of Ideas in America and the World,” and of a two-volume edition of George Orwell’s essays.
After the talk concludes, Packer will be available to sign books in the back of University Chapel. Copies of “Last Best Hope” are available for purchase in the Washington and Lee University Store.
*All attendees are expected to be masked indoors in compliance with the university’s COVID-19 guidelines.