What I Want for Christmas

Now that you ask.


Thanks to my old Shanghai/Beijing colleague Louisa Lim of NPR for the tip. Place your orders here.
Update. This note is representative of a number I have received:
I don't know if you intended the Kim Jong Un t-shirt post to be ironic, to express genuine hope for change in North Korea, to make fun of people who consider Obama to be a socialist, or something else that went over my head, but I found think this post would have been in poor taste coming from anyone, but it's in especially poor taste coming from you. Please re-think putting the link to buy the shirt on you website. Yuck.  To me, the shirt comes across as a dig on Obama, and it trivializes both the atrocities of the North Korean regime, and the places where Obama can genuinely be criticized on human rights issues.
Sigh. To any and all who took offense, let me clarify that: I don't make light of the terrible hardships befalling people in North Korea. I don't think that Obama is a socialist or a missing member of the Kim family. I don't actually view the latest Kim, whose hairdo is very different from his father's but equally attention-drawing, to be a likely vessel of reform. I am not making fun of the original Shepard Fairey "Hope" poster or the expectations it helped create. I am not taking sides in the endless copyright quarrels about those posters. I don't even overlook the very high international stakes involving Chinese-North Korean-South Korean-Japanese-U.S.-Russian interactions on the military and economic future of North Korea.

I thought the shirt was funny! This is in the category of "a little joke."

Back to earnestness soon. Meanwhile, Merry Christmas and associated holiday greetings to all.

And if I were being earnest about gift-giving, I would say that Steve Clemons makes a superb case for our superb new Civil War issue. Check it out.
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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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