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.
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.