Radio Atlantic: If We Could Learn From History

The power grab in China, the Iraq War fifteen years later, and the art of anticipating history, with James Fallows and Kathy Gilsinan.

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Discarding the limits on a leader's time in office is a classic autocrat's move. So when Xi Jinping began to clear a path for an indefinite term as China's president, he dimmed many once-bright hopes that he would speed the nation's path toward a new era of openness and reform. For James Fallows,The Atlantic's national correspondent, it was a sad vindication of a warning he issued two years ago in the magazine, of “China’s Great Leap Backward.”

As the 15th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq approaches, we review the developments in China, and look back at another warning that proved prescient: Fallows's National Magazine Award-winning essay, "The Fifty-First State?" Fallows joins our hosts, Alex Wagner and Matt Thompson, along with The Atlantic's global editor Kathy Gilsinan.

- “China’s Great Leap Backward” (James Fallows, December 2016 Issue)
- “Xi Jinping Reveals Himself As An Autocrat” (James Fallows and Caroline Kitchener, February 26, 2018)
- “China Is Not a Garden-Variety Dictatorship” (David Frum, March 5, 2018)
- “The Myth of a Kinder, Gentler Xi Jinping” (Isaac Stone Fish, February 27, 2018)
- “China's Surveillance State Should Scare Everyone” (Anna Mitchell and Larry Diamond, February 2, 2018)
- China's Trapped Transition (Minxin Pei, 2006)
- “The Fifty-First State?” (James Fallows, November 2002 Issue)
- “The Obama Doctrine” (Jeffrey Goldberg, April 2016 Issue)
- Steve Coll on “The Atlantic Interview” (February 7, 2018)
- A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East(David Fromkin, 1989)
- On Grand Strategy (John Lewis Gaddis, 2018)
- An American Tragedy (Theodore Dreiser, 1925)
- “Babylon Berlin” on Netflix
- “Christopher Steele, the Man Behind the Trump Dossier” (Jane Mayer, The New Yorker, March 12, 2018)