James Fallows has written a massive, thought-provoking article about America’s current social, political and economic issues in The Atlantic. Like so many of us that have spent time overseas, he looked at the US with fresh eyes on his return.In Fallows’ case, he moved his family to China for three years so he could have a deeper journalistic perspective about that country’s role in the 21st century, and moved back a couple of months ago.
He comes to mixed conclusions about our issues, but they are even handed and well thought through. If your tendency is to skip these pieces because “I don’t need to hear about how bad our country is.” you are wrong. It isn’t that kind of approach at all. If you want a serious discussion about how we can regain some of our lost energy as a nation, and about the complexities of the issues we face, this is the best place to begin that I’ve seen, maybe ever.
I confess to being a huge Fallows fan. I think he, along with Thomas Friedman, is one of the clearest voices on world dynamics and what we need to be aware of. I agree with Fallow’s politics more often than I do with Friedman’s, but both are sharp guys.
In lieu of writing a blog today, I’m inviting you to print and curl up with Fallows’ article. It is very long, about 10,000 words (or the length of a good short story,) but it is worth every page.