If You Are in D.C. This Afternoon: 'How Washington Really Works'

An appreciation of a journalistic original.

The people above are Charlie and Beth Peters, some years back, outside the house in Washington where they've lived since they came to town during the JFK administration to help create the Peace Corps.

Charlie is renowned in journalism for having founded The Washington Monthly in the late 1960s and given many generations of journalists their start. I began working there, alongside Walter Shapiro, at age 22, and my wife and I have remained close to Charlie and Beth ever since. The Atlantic's James Bennet is also an alumnus, as are National Journal's Matt Cooper and many other people we've published over the years. 

This afternoon at 4pm, at the New America Foundation in Washington, Norman Kelley will show the documentary he has been making about Charlie, called (as was one of Charlie's books), How Washington Really Works.  Matt Cooper will introduce the program; Charlie and Beth Peters will be there; and I will moderate a panel made of Monthly alumni Michelle Cottle, Steve Waldman, and Paul Glastris. Details here. If you can't come, keep an eye out for Norman Kelley's film. 

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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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