George Packer

  • 1 August 2006

This article is from 2006.

The most recent book by American journalist and novelist George Packer, The Assassins’ Gate: America in Iraq, is, quite literally, a monumental tome, standing like an epitaph to the invasion of Iraq. Of course, the fallout from the situation in the Gulf is more than likely going to produce further booksworth of turns in the coming months and years, but Packer’s effort covers the run-up, the war and its aftermath in quite vivid detail.

A talk from Packer offers the prospect of huge amounts of information on the subject, given that he was virtually commuting to and from Iraq on assignment for the New Yorker during this period. Having initially found something positive to say on the fact of incursion, what he saw there soon left him so disillusioned that he no longer realised the point of the war (and, more precisely, the reasons given for it), having spoken to occupying soldiers, occupied civilians, and figures in government. This last group bear the torrent of Packer’s scepticism, yet he can still interpret each point of view equally and that is what makes his reportage so compelling. (David Pollock)

16 Aug, 2pm, £7 (£5); 16 Aug (with Robert Fisk, Allan Little & Asne Seierstad), 7.30pm, £8 (£6).

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