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What one couple learned about America on a 100,000-mile journey across the US




A view of downtown Burlington on February 5, 2014 in Burlington, Vermont.
A view of downtown Burlington on February 5, 2014 in Burlington, Vermont.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

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We hear a lot about a politically and economically divided U.S., but reinvention is another word to describe many of the towns and people here.

That’s according to writers James and Deborah Fallows. For the past five years, the couple has taken it upon themselves to rediscover cities across the nation, traveling in a single-engine prop airplane.

Among the dozens of towns and hundreds of public servants, civic leaders, immigrants, workers and other people they’ve spoken to, making things better was a goal many shared, no matter where they lived. They also discovered that when things seem chaotic in Washington, there is often a sense of reform on the local level. In their new book, “Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey into the Heart of America,” the Fallowses document stories behind Burlington, Vermont, Holland, Michigan and headed out west to our towns of Redlands, San Bernardino and Riverside, California, just to name a few.

They join Larry Mantle today to talk about the everyday prospects of places that usually only draw national attention during a disaster, and share what they’ve learned about the complexities of our country.

Event: James and Deborah Fallows will discuss their book at 7:30 p.m. tonight, Thursday, May 16, at the Gensler architecture firm in Downtown L.A.

Guests:

James Fallows, national correspondent for The Atlantic and co-author of “Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey into the Heart of America” (Pantheon, 2018)

Deborah Fallows, contributing writer for The Atlantic and co-author of “Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey into the Heart of America” (Pantheon, 2018)