A Great Interview Just Now on 'All Things Considered'

Melissa Block was part of the NPR team that happened to be in Chengdu for pre-Olympic China coverage when the devastating Sichuan earthquake occurred in May, 2008. She has done a number of China features since then -- including an interview this afternoon on All Things Considered with the author of a new book on what you learn about China by learning Chinese. The story and audio are here.

Dreaming1.pngEven if that author weren't my wife, Deborah Fallows, I'd think it was a great segment. At this point, I realize I've exhausted my quota of decent opportunities to describe events for and reaction to her book. So with parting links to this nice item about the book in Oprah's magazine, this one in National Geographic Traveler, and this one in Asia by the Book, I refer you for further info to Deb's own site. It now has some entries on why it's worth the bother of trying to learn this language, and it will eventually have info on her upcoming book events on the west and east coasts.

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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