Welcome Marketplace Listeners, to American Futures

Kicking off a new collaborative project.

[Friday, September 6 1pm update: For the last few days, while Marketplace has been covering Sioux Falls, I have been holed up writing a long, and long-past-deadline, print-magazine story. Multi-tasking has its limits. Watch this space soon for our series of reports on Sioux Falls, covering many of the themes mentioned below.]  This evening on public radio's Marketplace, Kai Ryssdal -- shown at center above, talking with me recently in South Dakota -- kicks off our Atlantic / Marketplace / Esri software reporting collaboration we're calling "American Futures." Here is just-redesigned our special project site. The idea is to explore the realities and surprises of the country's economic, demographic, and cultural adjustments by looking at places off the normal big-city circuit. This week's reports, on both radio and online here, begin in Sioux Falls.

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Marketplace's site has a range of great features, pictures, and audio clips already available, with more to come. For instance, here is one with only mild overstatement on "Sioux Falls As Center of the Economic Universe."  An archive of some of their other coverage is here.

Here is some of what we've done on the Atlantic's site in the past few weeks. "We" in this case means me, my wife Deborah Fallows, our Boston-based teammate John Tierney, and a very large numbers of readers we are quoting.

About Sioux Falls:

- Welcome to Sioux Falls

- Dakota-style language in Sioux Falls

- An earlier greetings from Sioux Falls

- And many more coming this week

Elsewhere in South Dakota:

- What "green" now means, in the hotel business

- Beef jerky, and a surprising sanctuary in the Black Hills

- Why Rapid City is where it is, and what that means for other cities

About Holland, Michigan

- "Welcome to Holland," and the veneer of quaintness

- How a city saved a downtown via "snowmelt"

- From a scrapyard: what happens after the recycling bin

- Our special "geoblog" feature to illustrate the spatial realities behind economic and political stories

- The language of the Upper Midwest

- "Serial reportage" in the modern blog-and-broadcast age

- The drama of immigration in a tiny midwestern town

- The huge importance of locally based wealth

- Readers' experiences with Holland, pro and con

About America:

- The unexpected "American Orientalism" debate, starting here, response from readers here, roping in Joan Didion here and here.

- Our ongoing, remarkable "What Is Special About My Town" series, with one example here

About the project as a whole

- An introductory and explanatory post

- A "takeoff video" before we left DC last month

- Flying through Wyoming, and the mountain flying I am staying away from.

Thanks for your attention; we hope you enjoy these accounts via audio, video, maps, web posts, and soon articles in print.
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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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