Washington, D.C. (February 9, 2016)—Most Americans believe the country is going to hell. The Atlantic's James Fallows is here to tell you why they're wrong. In a refresh of the classic American road trip—channeling Lewis and Clark, Toqueville, and Steinbeck—Fallows piloted a three-year, 54,000 mile journey crisscrossing the country by single-engine plane to find out whether it's really all doom and gloom below the clouds. In The Atlantic's March cover story, "How America Is Putting Itself Back Together," Fallows reports on the findings of his journey: ingenuity, innovation, resolve (and, dare we say, a reason for optimism) in the places you might least expect. It turns out that the closer people are to the action, the better they like what they see.
Plus: ProPublica's Abrahm Lustgarten investigates the wild world of water rights in the American West and how one maverick investor wants to change the whole game; Peter Beinart argues that politicians, once again, are selling war on the cheap; and Peg Tyre covers the little-known math revolution among American teens.
The March issue of The Atlantic is now available online—with key pieces summarized below:
Cover Story and Features:
"How America Is Putting Itself Back Together": Having spent the better part of the past three years in America's small cities and towns, James Fallows reports on the unexpected ingenuity and resolve reshaping communities across the U.S., from Duluth, Minnesota, and Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to Redlands, California, and Columbus, Mississippi. In town after town, Fallows and his wife, Deborah, found tech centers, innovative schools, flourishing public-private partnerships, bustling downtowns, and other visible measures of reinvention exactly where you wouldn't expect to find them. He writes: "Where you wouldn't expect, that is, except we have seen so much of this nearly every place we've gone. America thinks of itself as having a few distinct islands of tech creativity; I now see it as an archipelago of start-ups and reinventions."