wildly curious
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

George Packer: America’s 'Last Best Hope'

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Journalist and author George Packer is one of the country’s most astute observers of American society – with all of its flaws. But after years of reporting on our decline, Packer experienced a new feeling while writing his latest book: hope.

In Last Best Hope: America in Crisis and Renewal, George Packer writes that American society can be defined by four narratives. There’s “Free America,” dominated by wealthy entrepreneurs. “Smart America” is the enclave of the educated, elite class — the beneficiaries of Amazon Prime, Lipitor, and cold brew coffee. “Real America” is made up of Christians and White farmers, people who work with their hands and often fight the country’s wars. And finally comes “Just America,” those who focus on identity and an America divided into victims or oppressors. Each narrative, Packer claims, has something of value to offer, but none alone will nurture democracy. So, what might a fifth narrative look like? George Packer joins us this Friday at noon, and Saturday at 11am, to talk about Last Best Hope. (Rebroadcast)

Original air date: Friday, July 30, 2021 at noon. Rebroadcast: Friday, Dec. 17 at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.

George Paker's book is Last Best hope: America in Crisis and Renewal. [IndieBound|Amazon|AudibleBookshop]

Doug Fabrizio has been reporting for KUER News since 1987, and became News Director in 1993. In 2001, he became host and executive producer of KUER's RadioWest, a one hour conversation/call-in show on KUER 90.1 in Salt Lake City. He has gained a reputation for his thoughtful style. He has interviewed everyone from Isabel Allende to the Dalai Lama, and from Madeleine Albright to Desmond Tutu. His interview skills landed him a spot as a guest host of the national NPR program, "Talk of the Nation." He has won numerous awards for his reporting and for his work with RadioWest and KUED's Utah NOW from such organizations as the Society of Professional Journalists, the Utah Broadcasters Association, the Public Radio News Directors Association and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.