Published on February 20th, 2019 | by TLV News0
Journey Across America with Thacker Mountain Radio on February 21
Off Square Books and The Thacker Mountain Radio Hour (TMR) will host nationally bestselling authors James and Deborah Fallows for a discussion of their book Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey into the Heart of America on Thursday, February 21. Just out in trade paperback, the book is a unique, revelatory portrait of the civic and economic renewal taking place today across America, town by town and generally out of view of the national media, and it presents a surprisingly hopeful view of the country between its coasts.
For the last five years, James and Deborah Fallows have been traveling across America in a single-engine prop airplane. Visiting dozens of towns, they have met hundreds of civic leaders, workers, immigrants, educators, environmentalists, artists, public servants, librarians, business people, city planners, students, and entrepreneurs to take the pulse and understand the prospects of places that usually draw notice only after a disaster or during a political campaign.
The America they saw is acutely conscious of its problems—from economic dislocation to the opioid scourge—but it is also crafting solutions, with a practical-minded determination at dramatic odds with the bitter paralysis of national politics. At times of dysfunction on a national level, reform possibilities have often arisen from the local level. The Fallows describe America in the middle of one of these creative waves. Their view of the country is as complex and contradictory as America itself, but it also reflects the energy, the generosity and compassion, the dreams, and the determination of many who are in the midst of making things better. Our Towns is the story of their journey—and an account of a country busy remaking itself.
James Fallows has been a national correspondent for The Atlantic for more than thirty-five years, reporting from China, Japan, Southeast Asia, Europe, and across the United States. He is the author of eleven previous books. His work has also appeared in many other magazines and as public-radio commentaries since the 1980s. He has won a National Book Award and a National Magazine Award. For two years he was President Jimmy Carter’s chief speechwriter.
Deborah Fallows is a linguist and writer who holds a PhD in theoretical linguistics and is the author of two previous books. She has written for The Atlantic, National Geographic, Slate, The New York Times, and The Washington Monthly, and has worked at the Pew Research Center, Oxygen Media, and Georgetown University. She and her husband have two sons and five grandchildren.
Rounding out TMR’s show will be musical performances by singer-songwriter Bailey Bigger.
Bigger is a Marion, Arkansas native now based in Memphis. Her latest release is the five-song EP, Closer to Home (Blue Tom Records). Her song “Wildflower” won the Memphis Songwriters Association’s “Memphis Best Song of the Year” in 2017.
Thacker Mountain will be at Off Square Books on February 21 beginning at 6 pm with host Jim Dees and house band, The Yalobushwhackers.