After their years in China, James Fallows and his wife Deborah Fallows decided to apply a foreign correspondents’ approach to their own country. For nearly two years, they have been flying in a small plane across America, visiting smaller cities that have suffered economic shocks and reporting on how they have recovered. Their findings are not what they expected, or what most people in the United States and elsewhere realize. In tonight’s talk, Fallows will speak on all of his findings, and address in particular what he’s found about what Americans think of China.
James Fallows is a National Correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly, where he has worked for more than twenty-five years. He has written for the magazine on a wide range of topics, including national security policy, American politics, the development and impact of technology, economic trends and patterns, and U.S. relations with the Middle East, Asia, and other parts of the world. Fallows grew up in Redlands, California and then attended Harvard, where he was president of the newspaper The Crimson. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1970 and then studied Economics at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. He has been an editor of The Washington Monthly and of Texas Monthly, and from 1977 to 1979 he served as President Jimmy Carter’s chief speechwriter. He has worked as a software designer at Microsoft and from 1996 to 1998 he was the Editor of U.S. News & World Report. In the five years after the 9/11 attacks, Fallows was based in Washington and wrote a number of articles about the evolution of U.S. policies for dealing with terrorism and about the war in Iraq. Of these “The Fifty First State?” won the National Magazine Award and, “Why Iraq Has No Army,” was a finalist. Fallows’ first book, National Defense (1981), won the American Book Award, and his others include Breaking the News: How Media Undermine American Democracy (1996), Looking at the Sun (1994), Blind into Baghdad: America’s War in Iraq (2006), as well as two recent books on China, Postcards from Tomorrow Square (2008) and China Airborne (2013).