James Fallows - "Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey Into the Heart of America"

James Fallows - "Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey Into the Heart of America"

James Fallows

9.27.2018

James Fallows

James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic, where he has been a contributor for more than 35 years. During this time, he has reported from Seattle, Berkley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Sydney, Shanghai, and Beijing. Prior to writing for The Atlantic, Fallows worked as President Carter’s chief speech writer.

Fallows obtained his undergraduate degree from Harvard University in American history and literature, and later attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar where he received a graduate degree in economics. In addition to his positions at The Atlantic and for the Carter administration, Fallows was the editor for US News & World Report for two years, and briefly served at Microsoft as a program designer. Fallows is an instrument-rated private pilot.

He wrote his most recent book, “Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey into the Heart of America,” with his wife, Deborah. His previous works include: “Looking at the Sun: The Rise of the New East Asian Economic and Political System,” “Breaking The News: How the Media Undermine American Democracy,” “Free Flight: Inventing the Future of Travel,” “On the Frontlines: Doing Business in China,” and “China Airborne.”

 

James Fallows, a national correspondent for The Atlantic, discusses his new book, “Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey Into the Heart of America,” which he authored with his wife—Deborah. “Our Towns” is a New York Times best-seller, and is the basis for an upcoming HBO documentary.

“Our Towns” offers a vivid portrait of the civic and economic reinvention of the American, town by town and generally out of the view of the national media, and creates a realistically positive and provocative view of the country between its coasts.

James and Deborah traveled across America for five years in a single-engine prop airplane. During this time, they visited dozens of towns and met with hundreds of civic leaders, workers, immigrants, educators, environmentalists, artists, public servants, librarians, business people, city planners, students, and entrepreneurs to understand the challenges and prospects of places not often in the public spotlight.

What they encountered was an America acutely aware of its problems, but also one creating solutions. The Fallowses found people facing their struggles with a practical-minded determination at odds with the bitter paralysis of national politics. “Our Towns” is the story of their journey—and an account of a country busy remaking itself.

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