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All Quotes by author - George Packer
" Abstract sympathy with the working class as an economic entity is easy, but the feeling can vanish on contact with actual members of the group, who often arrive with disturbing beliefs and powerful resentments - who might not sound or look like people urban progressives want to know. "
" A curious thing about this rarefied world is that bloggers are almost unfailingly contemptuous toward everyone except one another. "
" Afghanistan can't police its borders, and its neighbors give sanctuary and assistance to insurgents. "
" A great writer requires a great biography, and a great biography must tell the truth. "
" All over Africa, people are wearing what Americans once wore and no longer want. Visit the continent, and you'll find faded remnants of secondhand clothing in the strangest of places. "
" Al Qaeda asks its recruits to establish their bona fides as a condition of membership, even requiring answers to a long questionnaire. But ISIS has democratized and globalized jihad by lowering the entry bar to an eve-of-destruction YouTube pledge of allegiance to the caliphate - and even that could probably be waived. "
" Amazon's identity and goals are never clear and always fluid, which makes the company destabilizing and intimidating. "
" Ambition, of course, is the politician's currency. "
" Americans almost never elect presidents on the basis of foreign policy. "
" American wars in Muslim countries created some extremists and inflamed many more while producing a security vacuum that allowed them to wreak mayhem. "
" America's vast population of working poor can only get so poor before even Walmart is out of reach. "
" A religion is not just a set of texts but the living beliefs and practices of its adherents. "
" As America has grown less economically equal, a citizen's ability to move upward has fallen behind that of citizens in other Western democracies. We are no longer the country where anyone can become anything. "
" Before Google, and long before Facebook, Bezos had realized that the greatest value of an online company lay in the consumer data it collected. "
" By the fall of 2007, my last remaining Iraqi friend in Baghdad had left. Once he was gone, my connection to the country and the war began to thin, even as the terror diminished. I missed the improvement that came with the surge, and so, in my nervous system, I never quite registered it. "
" Certain murderous ideas are in the air worldwide, and they are finding individuals in scattered places in different ways, and every attack spreads them further, plants an idea in a new head. "
" Character is destiny, and politicians usually get the scandals they deserve, with a sense of inevitability about them. "
" 'Charlie Hebdo' had been nondenominational in its satire, sticking its finger into the sensitivities of Jews and Christians, too - but only Muslims responded with threats and acts of terrorism. "
" Climate change joined immigration, job creation, food safety, pilot training, veterans' care, campaign finance, transportation security, labor law, mine safety, wildfire management, and scores of executive and judicial appointments on the list of matters that the world's greatest deliberative body is incapable of addressing. "
" Discerning the legal difference between what WikiLeaks did and what news organizations do is difficult and would set a terrible precedent. "
" Even while writing about foreign places, I have been in a way writing about America, because that's the subject that interests me the most. I'm attached to it, critical, but it's definitely my country, and maybe even more so when I'm overseas. "
" Every movement, to stay alive - a very difficult thing to do historically - has to find a way to harness that initial surge of emotion and turn it to the hard, steady, un-sexy work of recruiting new members, strategizing, negotiating with those in power, keeping itself going. "
" Everyone finds justification for his or her views in logic and analysis, but a personal philosophy often emerges from some archaic part of the mind, an early idea of how the world should be. "
" Everything seems set up for success in digital journalism - money, eyeballs, software, brands. "
" For 20 years, my mother, my sister and I had seldom spoken of my father. If he happened to come up in conversation, pain and embarrassment entered the room and stayed until he disappeared back into the silence with which we all felt more at ease. "
" Foreign policy exactly suits Obama's strong points as a leader, which turn out not to be giving the masses a clear sense of direction and hope, but instead exercising good judgment on a case-by-case basis while thinking many steps ahead of the present moment. "
" Gingrich was a far more volatile and aggressive individual than Boehner, but the institutional norms of self-restraint, and perhaps even self-interest, have broken down under the pressure of an increasingly abnormal Republican Party. "
" How a candidate runs shapes how a president governs. "
" I actually think that self-interest is overrated as an all-purpose guide to political motive. It leaves out something at least as powerful and immovable - individual psychology. "
" I am never going to be able to rest easy in having established a posthumous connection to my father. I'll always be groping for what I can't have. "
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