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

By James Fallows
Barnett2.png

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.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/01/are-thomas-pm-barnett-and-i-the-same-person/69640/