TKC 292 George Packer


Author of The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America

 Interview starts at 5:55

I don’t have the view that you might have and that some of your listeners might have, which is that there’s something completely corrupt about traditional publishing or that it’s somehow stacked against all this talent out there that’s just waiting to be discovered. Sometimes it turns out that, although it has its own form of corruption and coziness, there’s also a way in which talent eventually does find its way to good publishers, and a lot of self-published authors find their way to good publishers as well.

Show Notes and Links:


“Gaiman on Copyright Piracy and the Web” (video) – February 3, 2014

The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel by Neil Gaiman – $7.99 on Kindle

American Gods by Neil Gaiman – $6.76 on Kindle

Tech Tip

“How to Learn a Language Using the Kindle Paperwhite” by Justin Dennis at

Interview with George Packer

The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America by George Packer – $9.11 on Kindle

The Assassins’ Gate: America in Iraq by George Packer – $8.89 on Kindle

“Cheap Words: Amazon is good for customers. But is it good for books?” by George Packer in The New Yorker – February 17, 2014

George Packer reads from The Unwinding at Politics and Prose bookstore (video) – June 19, 2013


Joyland by Stephen King – available for Kindle by preorder for $6.59 with delivery set for April 8, 2014

“S&S Launches Site for Book Discovery” at Publishers Weekly – March 3, 2014

Off the Shelf, a new book review site by Simon & Schuster

Big Bang Theory – comedy series in seven seasons at Amazon Instant Video

Next week’s show:

I will record a collage of interviews with fascinating people at South by Southwest Interactive in Austin, Texas. If you will be at SXSW, please drop me an email at PodChronicles AT gmail, so we can rendezvous for a cup of coffee or the secret TKC handshake.

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Comments 4

  1. Allen MacDiarmid wrote:

    Len – My website that has all my info about my articles and my proofing is here:

    Thanks for including me in your podcast.

    Posted 07 Mar 2014 at 10:01 am
  2. SpringfieldMH wrote:

    I went back and re-read George Packer’s New Yorker article regarding Amazon

    I probably have the same unease about Amazon and other megacorps that Packer does… but his errors, unsubstantiated articles of faith, mind reading, stereotyping and cheap shots regarding Amazon defeats his argument.

    Such talent, wasted.

    But I guess it will make the self appointed New York literati/intelligentsia momentarily happy.

    Hope his book is better, but doubt that I’m going to read it, given the quality of his article/editorial. Probably my loss, but he gets the blame for that.

    Posted 08 Mar 2014 at 12:37 pm
  3. Mark Isero wrote:

    Excellent interview, Len. Great questions. I also appreciated your reflection.

    Posted 09 Mar 2014 at 7:05 pm
  4. John Aga wrote:

    I enjoyed your interview with George Packer but I wish you could have taken him to task for his comparing Amazon to the Vichy who collaborated with the Nazis. I cringe whenever I hear a politician liberal or conservative play the Nazi card comparing their opponent to the Nazis or in this case Nazi collaborators. Evoking Nazis or anything connected to the Nazis in order to make their point is disgusting!

    Posted 12 Mar 2014 at 4:08 pm

Trackbacks & Pingbacks 3

  1. From The Kindle Chronicles - Notes from South by Southwest: Day Two on 08 Mar 2014 at 4:20 pm

    […] Allen MacDiarmid on TKC 292 George Packer […]

  2. From A schmoo for book people — Amazon and the book business | Making Book on 27 Mar 2014 at 10:46 am

    […] Len Edgerly has a great interview with Packer on Kindle Chronicles 292. […]

  3. From A Podcaster’s Passion for Ebooks | Feed Your Need To Read on 21 May 2015 at 1:19 pm

    […] less enthusiastic guest was New Yorker writer George Packer, whose anti-Amazon piece titled “Cheap Words” led to the most contentious conversation […]