Sunday, February 17, 2013

James Fallows Bio

James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic, where he has worked for over 30 years. He was born and raised in California, but has lived around the world, having spent time in Seattle, Austin, Tokyo, Shanghai, and Beijing, among others. He graduated from Harvard with a degree in American History and Literature, and was a Rhodes scholar at Oxford, where he received a graduate degree in economics. He is married to Deborah Fallows, herself an author, and they have two sons.

His past stints have included two years as the editor of US News & World Report, two years as the chief speechwriter for Jimmy Carter during his presidency, 6 months as a program designer at Microsoft working on software for writers. In 2010, he became a visiting Professor in U.S. Media at the University of Sydney in Australia and is also a regular news analyst for NPR's Weekend All Things Considered. He is also an instrument-rated pilot.

In 2003, Fallows won the National Magazine Award for his article “The Fifty-First State,” and has been a finalist for the award five other times. He has written ten books, with the two most recent books, Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) and China Airborne (2012), on the topics of politics and economics in China, specifically the aviation industry in the latter. China Airborne received generally good reviews from critics and readers, like the The Economist calling it “informative and lively, with hardly a trace of needless jargon.” 

He has invited his share of criticism though, especially for his 1996 book Breaking the News: How the Media Undermine American Democracy, where he described how the news media had lost the respect of the American public. Howell Raines, a correspondent for the The New York Times when Breaking the News was published, penned an editorial called “The Fallows Fallacy,” which seems to have become a bit of a catchphrase when disagreeing with Fallows, as it was also used more recently, in 2011, by Mark Ellis and Michael Rosen to criticize Fallows' article on clean coal technology in China.  

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