Are Thomas P.M. Barnett and I the Same Person?


Well, no. And one day we were actually in the same place at the same time -- about five years ago, at a conference he was running in Rhode Island -- so I can disprove any suggestion that I am moonlighting as him, or vice versa. And if you compare the picture on this site, above, with Barnett's -- at right, from his site -- you can tell us apart on the street.

But just now, on Weekend All Things Considered, he did a brief segment on U.S.-China relations in which I agreed with every single word he said. And maybe the punctuation and pauses between the words too. You can hear him -- and an "on the other hand" paired view from Gideon Rachman -- when the audio goes up on the NPR site, here. I am a fan of the Rachman family oeuvre -- Gideon's FT analysis and his brother Tom's hilarious novel The Imperfectionists -- but when it comes to China, what Barnett says accords much more closely what I have seen there and thought about over the years. Give it a listen when available.

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James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. More

James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.

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. His recent books Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) are based on his writings for The Atlantic. His latest book is China Airborne. He is married to Deborah Fallows, author of the recent book Dreaming in Chinese. They have two married sons.

Fallows welcomes and frequently quotes from reader mail sent via the "Email" button below. Unless you specify otherwise, we consider any incoming mail available for possible quotation -- but not with the sender's real name unless you explicitly state that it may be used. If you are wondering why Fallows does not use a "Comments" field below his posts, please see previous explanations here and here.


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