Sargent Shriver

Sargent Shriver, who died today at age 95, was a great and inspiring man. I heard many tales about him over the years from my mentor Charles Peters, who before founding the Washington Monthly had worked closely with Shriver at the Peace Corps.

Fortunately there is a book that does justice to the range, richness, and improbability of Shriver's life and character. That is the full-length biography Sarge, by the Atlantic's own Scott Stossel. Scott has an appreciation today on our site that suggests the grace and charm of Sargent Shriver and also the tone and revelations of his book. You'll be glad if you take the time to read his post. I am glad that Shriver lasted long enough to share memories for this book -- though, as you'll read, his fading memory itself became a biographer's challenge -- and that Scott Stossel stuck with it long enough to give a formidable man his due.

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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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