CHQ Watch Party: Revisiting James and Deborah Fallows' 2018 Lecture

Thursday, June 04, 2020
10:45am EDT

Location Chautauqua Institution Facebook Page

For this week’s Chautauqua Lecture Series #CHQWatchParty, we’re revisiting the lecture that James and Deborah Fallows delivered July 4, 2018, in the Amphitheater. That Fourth of July lecture was part of Week Two's theme, “American Identity."

For five years, James and Deborah Fallows traveled across America in a single-engine prop airplane and reporting on the people, organizations and ideas re-shaping the country.

As part of their City Makers: American Futures project in partnership with The Atlantic and Marketplace, the Fallowses visited smaller and medium-sized cities, meeting civic leaders, factory workers, recent immigrants, and young entrepreneurs to take the pulse and understand the prospects of places that usually draw notice only after a disaster or during a political campaign. The Fallowses’ book, "Our Towns," is the story of their journey — and an account of a country busy remaking itself, despite the challenges and paralysis of national politics.

London-based national correspondent James Fallows has written for The Atlantic since the late 1970s, living and reporting in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. In addition to working for The Atlantic, Fallows spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter and two years as the editor of US News & World Report.

Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series “Doing Business in China.” He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. He is the author of numerous books, including "Breaking the News: How the Media Undermines American Democracy" and "China Airborne"; as well as "Blind Into Baghdad" and "Postcards From Tomorrow Square," which are based on his writings for The Atlantic.

Deborah Fallows is a contributing writer for The Atlantic, and a co-creator of its City Makers: American Futures project. The author of "Dreaming in Chinese," Fallows has lived in Shanghai and Beijing and traveled throughout China for three years with her husband. A graduate of Harvard University with a PhD in linguistics, she most recently worked in research and polling for the Pew Internet Project and in data architecture for Oxygen Media.

Vice President and Emily and Richard Smucker Chair for Education Matt Ewalt will be on hand to lead and moderate a discussion in the comments section. Please post your thoughts and questions throughout the lecture.

Facebook Video Link

In this time of social distancing, we’re all looking for ways to be connected. To this end, we’re trying something new here at Chautauqua: CHQ Watch Parties, highlighting some of our favorite lectures from the past few years. Once a week, we’ll gather remotely on Facebook to revisit some of the best Chautauqua lectures and programs of the past few years, and to share our questions and comments with each other. We’ve always known how to have a conversation at Chautauqua, and now we’re bringing that conversation into your homes.